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The NSA can’t keep a secret! Why the agency is a joke to hackers

The NSA is one of the largest cyber-security intelligence agencies in the world. They hold many of the keys to the United States’ most secretive cyber-security techniques, which is why you would expect them to be the last organization to ever be breached by hackers.

The National Security Agency (NSA) is one of the top intelligence agencies in the Department of Defense. The NSA began as a WWII code deciphering unit and then later officially formed in 1952 by President Truman. They have one of the largest budgets of any agency in the U.S. government. The NSA is responsible for counterintelligence and global data collection and information monitoring, so it is shocking to hear the information they just revealed.

The massive target painted over one of the U.S.’s most secretive organizations seems to have been finally hit…hard.

NSA security breach

In a bombshell released by The New York Times on Sunday, it was revealed that the NSA had not only been hacked, but they were also being openly mocked about it. In a major breach perpetrated by an organization known as “The Shadow Brokers,” some of the agency’s most secretive cyber-weapons have been stolen, immediately resulting in hacking attacks on businesses and civilians around the world.

This breach was originally discovered nearly a year ago when former NSA hacker Jake Williams made a post on his company blog about The Shadow Brokers. One of the responses he received was quite alarming, as the reader seemed to know undisclosed details about Williams’ position at the NSA. The comment went on to reveal top-secret technical details that made it clear they knew about highly classified U.S. hacking efforts as well.

This was the first sign that the No Such Agency (NSA) had been deeply infiltrated.

NSA cyber-weapon fallout

Fast forward a year later, following ransomware attacks around the world, it is very clear that this particular breach far exceeds the damage done by the former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden. As The New York Times put it, “If [Snowden] shared what might be described as battle plans, [The Shadow Brokers] have loosed the weapons themselves.”

It is extremely alarming that these cyber-weapons, created at a massive cost to U.S. taxpayers, have been turned against the U.S. and our allies. Millions of ransomware attacks and 15 months later, Williams, in a comment to The New York Times said, “It’s a disaster on multiple levels…It’s embarrassing that the people responsible for this have not been brought to justice.”

In this era of information leaks and nation-state hackers, can we still rely on our most important security agencies? Do we even have a choice? Let me know what you think of this latest breach in the comments below.

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