Years of American efforts to portray the NSA as so far advanced above other hacking organizations as to be practically untouchable are taking a serious blow over yesterday’s announcement of a substantial collection of their cyber weapons being seized by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, and WikiLeaks’ confirmation they have the same files.
Experts in the field increasingly agree that the NSA code is absolutely authentic, with top cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab confirming 347 instances of encryption within the leaked files using a technique heretofore only seen in NSA code.
Former NSA employees are also confirming the authenticity of the documents, terming them “the keys to the kingdom,” and warning that their release would dramatically undermine the security of major government and corporate networks the world over.
It might have the opposite effect in the long run, however. The NSA is known to be conducting wholesale surveillance across the planet, the leak of this trove of files could reveal the exploits they are using to do so, and set the stage for a dramatic leap forward in network security, closing decades of security flaws which the NSA was desperate to keep unfixed.