On Friday, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which sets many of the standards that cryptographers use to create robust security systems, gave notice that it would formally review its standards development process.

This comes about two months after a report from The New York Times that the National Security Agency (NSA) may have included a backdoor in an algorithm called Dual EC_DRBG, which is used to create a widely adopted, NIST-approved encryption standard.

The fallout from the September New York Times report, which was based on internal memos leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, made many security experts wary of NIST and its standards.

At the time of the report, NIST issued a statement saying that it would reopen its public vetting process for the encryption standard that was in question. “We want to assure the IT cybersecurity community that the transparent, public process used to rigorously vet our standards is still in place,” a memo from the Institute read.

Now, NIST is apparently going a step further. In its latest November 1 statement, the organization promised to do a full audit of its standards development process. “Recent news reports about leaked classified documents have caused concern from the cryptographic community about the security of NIST cryptographic standards and guidelines,” the statement read.     

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