NSA Leaks: Irresponsibility or the Result of a Mole?

NSA Leaks: Irresponsibility or the Result of a Mole? | Experts question how NSA lost hacking tools

With ongoing discussion of the Shadow Brokers hack, experts and former employees of the NSA have already affirmed that the data is almost certainly the real McCoy. The bigger question, however, is still unanswered: how did the NSA lose it in the first place?

Speculation of a Russian “plot” is unsatisfying, and well short of a complete explanation for what happened, given that these tools appear to be “the keys to the kingdom” and perhaps the most advanced hacking tools on the planet. Experts say this sort of collection wouldn’t just be sitting around for some random hacker group, state-run or otherwise.

Or at least it shouldn’t. The competing theories right now for how the code got out of the NSA in the first place are that the agency either indeed just left a bunch of highly secret kit on some server by mistake, which would be wildly irresponsible, or that the whole “hacking” story is a cover, and the code leak is actually the result of a mole who made off with it.

Either way, the NSA loss is a massive one, which in the near-term puts these tools in the hands of people who might attack US government networks, and which in the long run will mean this huge cache of exploits will be patched by network security companies, making NSA surveillance a lot tougher. There is no agreement on which of the two stories is more likely, or indeed which is worse for the NSA.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Gary Sellars

    Karma is a thing of beauty… the NSA can go and foxtrot themselves…

  • ʬ i i l l l b uu rr rr r


    ======= “these tools in the hands of people who might attack US government networks”

    bbuy/liBaba . . .

  • lemur

    Well, patching is always good. PATCH NOW and KEEP MEANINGLESS COMPLEXITY OUT OF YOUR NETWORK (in particular, Windows)

  • curmudgeonvt

    Any bets on whether the official and “secret” budgets of the NSA both get copious bumps this year to offset and combat the liability?

  • ATM

    So people and businesses have been hacked for many years with government compromised tools. Why am I not surprised. There are many possibilities given that the tools were compromised many years ago, for example this could be a controlled leak by NSA to see who the buyers might be, or NSA wants to have plausible deniability over hacks they did, the list goes on. This proves one thing, you cannot trust government to create and keep back doors from going public and that puts everyone at risk.

  • O rly

    the only reason we know about snowden is because he told us.

  • TellTheTruth-2

    The NSA seems like a criminal enterprise to me; but, that’s what the USA has become since AIPAC achieved domination over the Senate and House.

  • nanna nino

    NonTruman should not have created the CIA and the NSA in the first place.