Following the unknown collective hackers known as “The Shadow Brokers'” release of legitimate information about the NSA special-ops entity, the “Equation Group,” Edward Snowden suggested that maybe it wasn’t the Russians behind the hacking. Perhaps, the NSA has another mole.
Zero Hedge reported that “a former NSA source told Motherboard, that ‘it’s plausible’ that the leakers are actually a disgruntled insider, claiming that it’s easier to walk out of the NSA with a USB drive or a CD than hack its servers.”
Former U.S. Special Ops security expert, Michael Adams, told Motherboard,
“It’s Snowden junior. Except he doesn’t want to end up in virtual prison in Russia. He’s smart enough to rip off shit, but also smart enough to be unidentifiable.”
Cybersecurity expert, author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, and columnist for Foreign Policy magazine, James Bamford, wrote that a mole is the most probable explanation behind the latest leak that everyone was falsely pinning on Russia.
Banford writes in Reuters:
“In what appeared more like a Saturday Night Live skit than an act of cybercrime, a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers put up for bid on the Internet what it called a “full state-sponsored toolset” of “cyberweapons.” “!!! Attention government sponsors of cyberwarfare and those who profit from it !!!! How much would you pay for enemies cyberweapons?” said the announcement.
“The group said it was releasing some NSA files for “free” and promised “better” ones to the highest bidder. However, those with loosing bids “Lose Lose,” it said, because they would not receive their money back. And should the total sum of the bids, in bitcoins, reach the equivalent of half a billion dollars, the group would make the whole lot public.
“While the “auction” seemed tongue in cheek, more like hacktivists than Russian high command, the sample documents were almost certainly real. The draft of a top-secret NSA manual for implanting offensive malware, released by Edward Snowden, contains code for a program codenamed SECONDDATE. That same 16-character string of numbers and characters is in the code released by the Shadow Brokers. The details from the manual were first released by The Intercept last Friday.”
He ends his long commentary by stating what many Americans believe:
“Snowden’s leaks served a public good. He alerted Americans to illegal eavesdropping on their telephone records and other privacy violations, and Congress changed the law as a result. The DNC leaks exposed corrupt policies within the Democratic Party.”
But, if NSA secrets are that easy to steal and sell, couldn’t that threaten America’s national security? If criminal hackers and cyber anarchists can steal data, wouldn’t that create chaos on an international level?
He rightly concluded that “NSA may prove to be one of Washington’s greatest liabilities rather than assets.”