The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is going from crypto surveillance to crypto creation. According to Bloomberg reporter William Turton, the agency is developing “quantum-resistant crypto.”
Neuberger, Director of the NSA’s Cybersecurity Directorate, revealed this information yesterday during the 10th Annual Billington CyberSecurity Summit in Washington, D.C.
Quantum computing, although still in its early stages, has the potential to neutralize cryptocurrency. It could theoretically decipher the cryptography that underlies digital currencies. While it’s not clear if Neuberger was referring to cryptocurrency or cryptography, it wouldn’t be the first time the agency has eyed digital currency.
In 2018, Edward Snowden exposed the NSA’s desire for bitcoin surveillance to the Intercept. The whistleblower released internal documents exposing the agency’s plan to “help track down senders and receivers of Bitcoins.” “Bitcoin is the #1 priority” amongst cryptocurrencies, according to the leaked documents. The NSA allegedly tracked down bitcoin users’ passwords, internet activity, and devices.
Of course, the NSA could’ve fabricated these leaks to throw us off their trail. Some people believe the government created bitcoin to carry out incognito operations. If so, it follows that they would want to make it quantum-resistant. Why covertly create the flagship digital currency to carry out nefarious business if it can be hacked?
According to msn.com, Neuberger was inspired by North Korea’s “creative” cybersecurity techniques. She cited the Kim Jong-Un regime’s ability to raise funds through various cryptocurrency schemes. According to a report by the UN, North Korean agents have stolen nearly $2 billion from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges. The committee claims that North Korea uses the funds for weapons of mass destruction, among other things.
The new NSA’s Cybersecurity Directorate is “is charged with preventing and eradicating threats to National Security Systems and the Defense Industrial Base.” It’s scheduled to start activities on Oct. 1.