Questions Linger as Juniper Removes Backdoored Dual_EC RNG

January 11, 2016

Juniper Networks announced late Friday it was removing the suspicious Dual_EC_DRBG random number generator from its ScreenOS operating system.

And while that’s heralded as a positive move considering Dual_EC’s dubious origins, there remain important and unanswered questions about Juniper’s decision to include what is considered to be a backdoored random number generator in its NetScreen VPNs, and why a number of strange coding and engineering decisions were made that could have facilitated the decryption of secure traffic.

he networking giant said it was not only removing Dual_EC, but also the ANSI X9.31 algorithm from ScreenOS starting with an upcoming release sometime in the first half of this year. The announcement comes just shy of a month after Juniper said it had found unauthorized code in ScreenOS that allowed for the decryption of NetScreen firewall traffic and a second issue that allowed for remote unauthorized access to NetScreen appliances via SSH or telnet.

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