1/17 – Network Connections


Hacking has been in the news.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

There’s another cyber-security issue that’s received far-less attention. Around Christmas 2015, Juniper Networks disclosed it found unauthorized code in its operating system. This created a backdoor to access encrypted data. The unauthorized code had been in place since at least 2012.

Juniper is the second largest manufacturer of networking equipment.

The company issued a pair of software patches [here, here] as a security measure.

What Juniper didn’t disclose – or if it even knew – was who installed the backdoor.

As a result of the disclosure and patches, one IT security company claimed it discovered Juniper’s master password.

Network security has been a concern for years. In 2007, a pair of programmers reported encryption approved by U.S. authorities was vulnerable to a backdoor. Then it was learned the NSA had a role in installing security weaknesses in encrypted systems. Banking, healthcare and other private data were vulnerable to prying eyes.

The danger isn’t just possible abuse by U.S. officials. This makes encrypted systems vulnerable to foreign governments and other bad actors.

U.S. industry and government use Juniper networks. They all may have been at risk.

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