At least a dozen media outlets have cited a Bloomberg contributor saying that NASA was working a quantum cryptocurrency. However, the journalist was referencing the work NSA has been putting into developing encryption that would be resistant to quantum computers, showing just how little research is done in today’s fast-paced news cycle.
Forbes confuses NSA with NASA, causes a stir in crypto media
On Sep. 4, Bloomberg Technology journalist Willian Turton shared insights from Billington CyberSecurity’s 10th annual summit, where industry veterans discussed the current state and upcoming innovations in the world of cybersecurity.
Turton tweeted that Anne Neuberger, the director of NSA’s new Cybersecurity Directorate, said that the agency was working to build quantum-resistant “crypto.” The “crypto” Turton was referring to weren’t cryptocurrencies, but cryptography—the encryption that protects sensitive data such as online transactions, financial records, and email.
Anne Neuberger, Director of NSA’s new Cybersecurity Directorate says that the agency will propose hardware and software standards again. Also notes agency is working to build quantum resistant crypto. pic.twitter.com/IIvjz1aTjO
— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) September 4, 2019
Turton’s tweet, however, was so grossly misunderstood that it led to one of the most high-profile business news outlets to deleting an article. Namely, Forbes contributor Naaem Aslam used Turton’s tweet as a source to write an article about NASA’s plan to create a quantum cryptocurrency.
Published on Forbes on Sep. 5, the article not only seems to have confused the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) but also came up with a narrative that it was developing its own digital currency.
Understandably, this caused quite a stir in crypto media, with multiple outlets racing to cover the monumental story.