THE TYPICALLY SECRETIVE US National Security Agency (NSA) has launched an official GitHub page.
The coders and mathematicians employed by the NSA, among other things, develop hacking tools like EternalBlue, ostensibly to protect the country against cyber threats. Much of its work has to be done in secret, but it has been adopting a (very slightly) more open attitude since the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013, opening a Twitter account that same year.
GitHub is an online service used to share code amongst programmers. So, what is the NSA sharing? So far, it lists 32 different projects, although several, like SELinux, are years old.
The Next Web, which spotted the NSA's page, notes that there is a long tradition of technologies making their way from the defence and intelligence environments to the wider public: examples include the internet and GPS. Talking to programmers on GitHub might also be a new way for the NSA to recruit talent.
This is hardly the first time that the NSA has been involved with GitHub. The agency has been running a technology transfer programme for years, which overtly aims to move code developed in-house to the software community at large. Its Information Assurance Directorate also established a GitHub page in 2013.
Then, of course, there is code that has been stolen from the NSA and shared online, often through GitHub. The Shadow Brokers group originally tried to sell its hacked tools, like EternalBlue, using the site, although GitHub took the repository down; not because the data was hacked, but because it was being offered for sale, which is against the site's standard operating procedure.
The NSA's new page can be found here. µ
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