Some questions surrounding the dreadful dump of NSA’s hacking tools are yet to be answered.
The most significant one among them is undoubtedly related to the identity of the people or group responsible for the hacking attack.
Almost the entire world is waiting for an answer to the question, “Who are behind this mysterious incident; who are “The Shadow Brokers?”
The officials have not yet managed to gather any clear evidence that point in a particular direction.
However, based on the timing of the event and after considering that not many can possess the ability and the motive of hacking and shame the National Security Agency publicly, some are suggesting that there might be a Russian link to the entire incident.
There are also some who are talking about a different possibility. According to the theory presented by those people, an insider might have played a vital role in stealing the hacking tools directly from the agency; it is believed that the entire job has been carried out using the methods pioneered by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor.
They must not find it difficult to remember how Snowden stole a large number of secret documents owned by the American spy agency a few years back.
It might surprise you a bit, but this theory suggesting an insider link has been pushed forward by a person who claims to be a former NSA insider himself.
When putting forward his theory, the unnamed former NSA employee said that he and his colleagues feel that this not a hack.
These people also think that no group is responsible for the leak. According to him, “The Shadow Brokers” is just one guy, who is an NSA insider.
The anonymous source believes that the job of hacking the system and obtaining data would be much easier for people associated with the NSA.
Russia, in spite of having a powerful hacking team, is unlikely to complete the job so easily.
To present some logic behind his claims, the person said that the naming convention of file directories and some scripts forming the dump could only be accessed by people with direct links with the NSA.
He further added that it’s difficult to find any valid reason for keeping such important files on servers that can be hacked so easily; this discrepancy is enough to believe that only an insider can be responsible for the leaking of NSA’s hacking tools.
The person claimed that such confidential files are usually part of physically separated networks, which don’t have any link with the internet.
This is called an air-gap. However, here it must be mentioned that so far, no one has managed to prove that the air-gaps are capable of preventing hacking operations.
Matt Suiche, the Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai-based cyber security firm Comae, has analyzed the insider theory discussed above.
According to Suiche, the incident was triggered by a mistake committed by a member of TAO (Tailored Access Operation), the top hacking team of the American security agency.
The member mistakenly left the compromised hacking tools exposed on the server.
The anonymous source said that he and some of his colleagues are 99.9% confident that Russia is not involved in this hacking fiasco.
According to him, in spite of the sensational speculation the theory of Russian link is getting, it wouldn’t be wise to dismiss the insider theory completely
The source added that initially, he was a bit apprehensive to talk about this incident, but later he decided to come forward as he thought it was important to warn common people against holding Russia responsible for this hacking event.
Although the source chose to remain anonymous, he didn’t shy away from letting the world know that he knows a thing or two about NSA and its hacking tools.
To prove that he used to be an employee of the agency, the source provided a military award, which appears to be legitimate.