More information is surfacing on the source of the NSA's hacking tools discovered and published by the Shadow Brokers. Just as Ed Snowden pointed out shortly after the tools first appeared online, the problem with sticking a stash of hacking tools on equipment you don't own is that others can access the tools, too… especially if an operative doesn't follow through on the more mundane aspects of good opsec.
At midnight on Saturday, the National Security Agency ended one of its most notorious spying programs. This is only a tiny victory. The NSA’s sprawling, inefficient surveillance apparatus is still a privacy threat.
When Der Spiegel and Jacob Appelbaum published leaked pages of the National Security Agency's ANT Catalog—the collection of tools and software created for NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division—it triggered shock, awe, and a range of other emotions around the world. Among some hardware hackers and security researchers, it triggered something else, too—a desire to replicate the capabilities of TAO's toolbox to conduct research on how the same approaches might be used by other adversaries.
Russian antivirus company Kaspersky revealed recently that it was the target of hackers behind the Stuxnet and Duqu worms last year. The hackers have been attacking the company’s network for months, collecting data on its operations and software. But it turns out that intelligence agencies including the NSA and GCHQ have spied on antivirus companies for years, looking for exploitable vulnerabilities.
The new report comes from newly leaked documentation from NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden, who made them available to The Intercept.
The Senate failed to pass legislation late Sunday to extend three Patriot Act surveillance measures ahead of their midnight expiration. The National Security Agency's bulk telephone metadata collection program—first exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013—is the most high profile of the three spy tools whose legal authorization expired.