Washington, August 22 (RHC)-- A newly-released batch of documents from Edward Snowden, published by The Intercept, have revealed stolen source code from a group believed to be tied to the National Security Agency (NSA) is authentic.
The online news site's editors include journalists that worked with Snowden to publicize his notorious 2013 NSA leak revealing the extent of government snooping on U.S. citizens. The Intercept said Snowden had given the site a classified draft NSA manual on how to implant malware -- malicious code that is used to monitor or control someone else's computer.
Whether the code published online by a mysterious group called "Shadow Hackers" is genuine has been the source of much debate in recent days. The NSA has steadfastly declined to comment on whether it has been the victim of a security breach.
In recent days, the Shadow Hackers posted two sets of files, one that is freely accessible and another that remains encrypted. They said they would release this additional information on the condition that they raised one million Bitcoins – digital currency, in this case worth about US$575 million – through an online auction.
According to the Intercept, the draft NSA manual contains instructions to NSA operators telling them to use a specific string of characters associated with the SECONDDATE malware program. The exact same characters appear throughout parts of the Shadow Brokers leak, the Intercept said.
According to The New York Times, much of the code was created to peer through the computer firewalls of foreign powers like China, Iran and Russia. Such access would enable the NSA to plant malware in rivals' systems and monitor -- or even attack -- their networks. Whoever obtained the code would have had to break into NSA servers that store the files.
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