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8/17/16

USA: NSA hacking tools revealed online - By Ellen Nakashim

Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the National Security Agency’s elite group of hackers have been revealed in recent days, a development that could threaten the security of government and corporate computers.

A cache of hacking tools with code names such as Epicbanana, Buzzdirection, and Egregiousblunder appeared mysteriously online over the weekend, setting the security world abuzz with speculation over whether the material was legitimate.

The file appeared to be real, according to former NSA personnel who worked in the agency’s hacking division, known as Tailored Access Operations.

‘‘Without a doubt, they’re the keys to the kingdom,’’ said one former employee of the hacking division, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal operations. ‘‘The stuff you’re talking about would undermine the security of a lot of major government and corporate networks both here and abroad.’’

Said a second former hacker in the division who saw the file: ‘‘From what I saw, there was no doubt in my mind that it was legitimate.’’

The file contained 300 megabytes of information, including several ‘‘exploits,’’ or tools for taking control of firewalls in order to control a network, and a number of implants that might, for instance, exfiltrate or modify information.

Read More: NSA hacking tools revealed online - The Boston Globe

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