Source code that hackers claim to have stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) appears likely to be authentic, according to a security firm.
The hackers, calling themselves the Shadow Brokers, posted sample files to prove they had actually stolen source code from the so-called Equation Group on Monday. Equation, another group of hackers, is widely believed to be affiliated with the NSA.
Kaspersky Labs, which first identified the Equation Group, said in a blog post on Tuesday, “Several hundred tools from the leak share a strong connection with our previous findings from the Equation group.”
The identification comes as security professionals speculate that the source code was not pilfered by criminal hackers, but instead by Russian intelligence looking to send a message to the U.S. for pointing to Russia in the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee.
On Tuesday, Edward Snowden, a former national intelligence contractor, said as much in a series of tweets, writing, “This leak is likely a warning that someone can prove US responsibility for any attacks that originated from [a specific] malware server."
Immunity Inc. founder Dave Aitel agreed in a blog post, saying the brazenness of the attack might indicate who was behind it.
“No team of ‘hackers’ would want to piss off Equation Group this much. That's the kind of cojones that only come from having a nation state protecting you,” he wrote.