On Monday 15 August, a previously unknown group of hackers called The Shadow Brokers launched an auction for what they claimed was source code from the NSA-associated Equation Group. A sample of what was claimed to be Equation Group hacking tools was also released on github and a manifesto delivered on Pastebin.
This 2010 NSA presentation describes Project Camberdada, an attempt to subvert popular antivirus software by means of surveilling email traffic: see the Intercept article Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks, 22 June 2015.
This NSA research paper from September 2008 shows that the agency was aware that users of Kaspersky antivirus software could be uniquely identified using the information Kaspersky sent to its own servers: see the Intercept article Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks, 22 June 2015.
This GCHQ application for warrant renewal from June 2008 shows that the agency has been engaged in the reverse engineering of commercial antivirus software for the purposes of facilitating its hacking operations: see the Intercept article Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks, 22 June 2015.
On the evening of Monday 23 Feburary, Edward Snowden joined Glenn Greenwald and Oscar-winning Citizenfour director Laura Poitras to answer questions submitted by reddit users. Edward Snowden’s answers covered NSA information management, his life in Russia, how whistleblowers can best be protected and making surveillance an important issue in the next US Presidential election, among other issues.
The discussion also touched on two recent news reports: the bulk seizure of SIM card encryption keys by the NSA and GCHQ; and the exposure of state-level Equation Group malware by the Kaspersky Group, which has widely been attributed to the NSA. A previous malware discovery, Regin, has been corroborated as having links to the NSA and its Five Eyes allies by documents disclosed by Snowden.
Reddit confirmed that the AMA was viewed over a million times on the evening it was published. A selection of Edward Snowden’s answers follows below.