Mocana, the app security leader, issued a security advisory and
announced an update to its NanoCrypto™ embedded security engine software
that removes the Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator
(Dual_EC_DRBG) algorithm, an algorithm that was previously promoted as a
cryptographically secure key generation method by the National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST). Mocana's action is the result of
recent Edward Snowden document revelations that the Dual_EC_DRBG
algorithm contains a vulnerability that likely enables US intelligence
agencies to easily decrypt communications protected with the algorithm.
The algorithm was designated as a standard (SP 800-90A) by NIST in 2006,
at least in part because of endorsement and promotion by the NSA.
Earlier this month, NIST warned against using Dual_EC_DRBG until
scientists determine the full extent of the algorithm's weaknesses.
"By default, Mocana's NanoCrypto product uses FIPS 186 pseudorandom
number generation, but the Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm was available as an
option. We have decided to remve the Dual_EC_DRBG libraries from
NanoCrypto entirely to protect our customers," said Kurt Stammberger,
CISSP, vice president of market development at Mocana. "We recommend
that our customers review their previous software builds to make sure
they did not enable this algorithm."
The Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm was one of three random number generators
made available to developers in the previous versions of the NanoCrypto
product. Mocana's NanoCrypto software is one of the world's most popular
security engines for cellular handset makers and embedded device
manufacturers of all kinds, with tens of millions of installations
"Many embedded devices, like those in smart grid, industrial automation,
medical and automotive applications, are not easy to update or patch, so
NSA's actions are going to impose a non-trivial cost on some device
manufacturers as they endeavor to update devices already in the field,"
Mobile, app and device developers that would like more information about
the new version of NanoCrypto (5.8) should email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the NanoCrypto product page at https://www.mocana.com/nanocrypto/.
A copy of the Mocana security advisory is also available there.
Mocana unlocks the extended enterprise and simplifies wide-scale mobile
deployments by securing apps automatically, in seconds. The company's
Mobile Application Protection (MAP) app-shielding solution, distributed
globally by SAP, mitigates the complexities of mobile management, while
freeing developers from difficult and expensive security coding.
Launched in 2004 and recognized by the World Economic Forum as a 2012
Technology Pioneer, Mocana is the app security expert, with deep
expertise born from a decade of experience securing mission- and
life-critical embedded devices across the Internet of Things: from
mobile handsets to medical devices to aerospace and defense; from
datacom to retail POS to smart grid and industrial automation. More
information is available at www.mocana.com.
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