A never-before-published NSA manual makes it clear that malware released by a hacker group this week came from the spy agency.
The danger of these exploits is that they can be used to target anyone who is using a vulnerable router. This is the equivalent of leaving lockpicking tools lying around a high school cafeteria. It’s worse, in fact, because many of these exploits are not available through any other means, so they’re just now coming to the attention of the firewall and router manufacturers that need to fix them, as well as the customers that are vulnerable.
So the risk is twofold: first, that the person or persons who stole this information might have used them against us. If this is indeed Russia, then one assumes that they probably have their own exploits, but there’s no need to give them any more. And now that the exploits have been released, we run the risk that ordinary criminals will use them against corporate targets.
Why is this significant? Because in the NSA’s desire to spy on us all, they themselves were hacked and their exploits were then potentially used by Russia to hack into our own computers. In other words, our own government agency that is suppose to protect us, instead, through their own (unconstitutional) actions, has opened our own citizens up to being hacked by potentially hostile foreign agents.