It seems that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been in the new a lot lately, especially after the leak of the PRISM operation by Edward Snowden. After that leak many people are paranoid especially given the facts, but now there are rumors for reliable sources that the NSA could be implanting permanent backdoors in both Intel and AMD chips.
Steve Blank of Silicon Valley experts has stated that he would be “extremely surprised” that the NSA was not implanting backdoors onto Intel and AMD chips. Of course as many of you know Intel and AMD are the worlds leading silicon giants.
The reasoning behind these backdoors is simply because hacking is much more preferable than cracking to the NSA. Such things like AES 256 bit encryption would take an unruly amount of power to crack. So it would be easier for the NSA to actually get the information before the encryption / decryption happens. Mr. Blank is claiming that is what the NSA does. The NSA had secured “pre-encryption stage” access to Microsoft’s email products (PRISM Leaks).
Apparently when the PC industry was young Intel would just simply just replace entire chips when there was a problem. Nowadays they update the microcode (the tiny re-programmable part of the CPU). Is it possible that the NSA could utilize this as a pathway to update or expand this hypothetical backdoor?
At this point we think anything is possible, but then again these are only opinions of a few people in the industry. We urge you to come to your own conclusions on the matter.
In response to these reports the Australian Secret Services has blocked Lenovo systems within their infrastructure and the Russian Federal Guard service are switching back to electrical type writers. (no really).
Source: Financial Review | News Archive