Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Developer defends claims of backdoors in OpenBSD

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The former OpenBSD developer who has caused a stir by claiming that the FBI had, through certain other OpenBSD developers, planted backdoors in its cryptographic code, says he raised the matter only to encourage a source code audit of the OpenBSD project.


Gregory Perry made the claim in an email to OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt who posted the mail along with his comments to the openbsd-tech mailing list.

Perry, chief executive of a company named GoVirtual, told iTWire: "I have absolutely, positively nothing to gain from making those statements to Theo, and only did so to encourage a source code audit of the OpenBSD Project based upon the expiry of my NDA with the FBI. Being in any limelight is not my bag at all."

An audit of the cryptographic code has commenced and de Raadt told iTWire yesterday that two bugs had been found.

Perry said he had sent a private email to de Raadt, urging him to perform a source code audit of the OpenBSD Project based upon the allegations contained within the mail.

"Theo then sent, without my permission and against my wishes, the entire contents of that email with my contact particulars to a public listserver, which ignited this firestorm of controversy that I am now seemingly embroiled in," he said.

"If I had this to do over again, I would have sent an anonymous postcard to WikiLeaks probably."

In his email to de Raadt, Perry had mentioned two names - Scott Lowe and Jason Wright - and also spoken of other unnamed developers who were involved in allegedly planting the backdoors. Both Lowe and Wright have denied being involved in planting any backdoors.

"I personally hired and managed Jason Wright as well as several other developers that were involved with the OpenBSD Project," Perry said.

"I am intimately familiar with OpenBSD, having used it for a variety of commercial products over the years, and I arranged the initial funding for the cryptographic hardware accelerated OCF and gigabit Ethernet drivers by way of a series of disbursements of equipment and development monies made available via NETSEC (as well as my own personal donations) to the OpenBSD Project."

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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