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The National Security Agency has found ways to easily crack commonly used encryption tools, allowing intelligence officials to break open protected e-mails and to access trade secrets and financial and medical records, according to leaked documents. The NSA uses a combination of cracking tools, covert attacks and back-door access provided by encryption-tool developers to access information. "Now we learn that the foundation of Web security has been compromised," said computer security expert Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure.

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