Jeffrey Carr has a good point from the RSA Conference keynote:
> "When, last September, it became possible that concerns raised in 2007 might have merit as part of a strategy of exploitation, NIST as the relevant standards body issued new guidance to stop the use of this algorithm. We immediately acted upon that guidance, notified our customers, and took steps to remove the algorithm from use." - Art Coviello RSAC 2014 Keynote speech
So up until then, they apparently considered all the criticism of RSA security without merit? On what basis? The research was obviously right.
If you read a bit more in the actual keynote, there is actually an unexpectedly frank explanation:
> "Recognizing that [after year 2000, open source, non-patented encryption was widely available], and encryption's inevitable shrinking contribution to out business, we worked to establish an approch to standards setting that was based on the input of the larger community rather than the intellectual property of any one vendor. We put our weight and trust behind a number of standards bodies - ANSI X9 and yes, the National Institute of Standards and technology (NIST). We saw our new role, not as the driver, but as a contributor to and beneficiary of open standards that would be stronger due to the input of the larger community."
But they ignore most of the input of the larger community, in favor of taking $10,000,000 from NSA to use their backdoored algorithm.
What we have seems to be standard exploitation of a valuable acquired brand which is no longer profitable. Take a high-quality brand with an outstanding reputation for independent quality checking. Fire everybody skilled (and expensive), and sell as many cheap commodity products under that brand as you can get away with, with as little expensive quality control as possible. Their claim is that they expected to get the quality control for free from NIST, which they knew was dominated by the NSA. Meanwhile, RSA Security choose to totally ignore any contradicting independent research.
Personally I believe the amount of incompetence and cluelessness claimed by RSA Security as defense strains credulity beyond breaking point.