The NSA knows its weapons may one day be used by its targets

The NSA knows its weapons may one day be used by its targets

A soldier displays an Army Cyber Command patch. The White House may rescind an order that dictates how offensive cyber missions are approved. (Army Cyber Command)

U.S. military commanders say that when U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency use a capability against targets abroad, they understand it might eventually be used by an adversary.

The threat of having the NSA’s tools leaked has been an issue inside the agency for years now — former NSA contractor Edward Snowden brought it into the public domain when he revealed a trove of NSA programs in 2013 — but the risk of having adversaries detect, obtain or reverse engineers NSA-used tools has become especially salient in the last week. Researchers from cybersecurity firm Symantec revealed that a Chinese-linked hacking group had repurposed tools linked with the NSA as early as March of 2016 and used them to attack various targets around the world.


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