This has been a bad week for RSA after insiders announced that the NSA had paid the company $10 million. The payment was allegedly to make a random number generator favored by the NSA, and presumably easier to crack, the default choice in the BSAFE encryption tool. RSA has denies these allegations and continues to do so. Some believe RSA, but others aren’t so trusting.
One of the people that isn’t trusting RSA’s denial of helping the NSA by allowing weaker default code is security speaker Mikko Hypponen. Hypponen is the chief research officer of Finnish antivirus firm F-Secure.
Hypponen was set to deliver a speech at the RSA Conference USA 2014 set for February. Apparently Hypponen is a highly sought after speaker for security conferences and has spoken in the past at Black Hat, Defcon, Hack in the Box, and other conferences. Hypponen didn’t mince words stating clearly that he pulled out of the talk at the RSA conference as protest against the alleged deal with the NSA.
Hypponen said that he didn’t expect other speakers to cancel, because most of them are American. He stated that the NSA surveillance was aimed at non-Americans such as him and he wouldn’t support the company.