The National Security Agency’s insistence on having technology companies include so-called “backdoors” in their products it could use to spy on assorted bad guys may have backfired – allowing the bad guys to steal U.S. government data.

According to a Reuters report:

In at least one instance, a foreign adversary was able to take advantage of a back door invented by U.S. intelligence, according to Juniper Networks Inc, which said in 2015 its equipment had been compromised. In a previously unreported statement to members of Congress in July seen by Reuters, Juniper said an unnamed national government had converted the mechanism first created by the NSA. The NSA told Wyden staffers in 2018 that there was a “lessons learned” report about the Juniper incident and others, according to Wyden spokesman Keith Chu.

“NSA now asserts that it cannot locate this document,” Chu told Reuters.

NSA and Juniper declined to comment on the matter.

Who was behind the hack? It appears to have been China. Even so, Western law enforcement agencies have continued to demand backdoors as means to fight an assortment of crimes:

…the Justice Department is still relentlessly trying to make our encryption worse, and so have other governments, like the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, and Japan. Earlier this month, national law enforcement leaders from all these countries signed a letter demanding that encryption be weakened, claiming that police need access to fight child sexual exploitation.

Privacy and technology experts have been warning all along that these demands would actually make everybody more vulnerable to crime for very little gain and would compromise everybody’s privacy and data security.

Image Credit: By Edi Wibowo [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons