NSA releases cybersecurity tool to the public
The National Security Agency has made its custom reverse-engineering tool known as Ghidra available for download to anyone with an Internet connection. The move is intended to make it easier for security researchers in the public and private sector to study malicious code.
Ghidra was designed to help NSA researchers understand how malware functions, by producing the source code of any malware that researchers present to it. The NSA is not just releasing the solution as a complete application, but it is also releasing much of the source code, which will enable security researchers to adjust and improve the tool as part of an open-source project.
The NSA decision is very significant because tools like Ghidra are incredibly expensive and therefore not available to the vast majority of security researchers. By releasing Ghidra, the NSA will help security researchers develop better defense solutions, which means that it should become harder for foreign hackers to breach US government agencies and private organizations in the future. In addition, the NSA move aims to improve the tarnished image of the agency by calling attention to its defensive cybersecurity efforts, which have been overshadowed by the agency’s controversial activities in the realm of intelligence collection that were exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.