Alleged NSA Leak Raises Alarms over Digital Security

August 18, 2016 - 2 minutes read

While users often think of their phones and laptops as digital safe deposit boxes, the truth is that data is frequently more vulnerable than we’d like to think. In the wake of security contractor Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, a group of hackers claims to have obtained even more critical NSA data this past week, and has been leaking that data online.

Security experts and mobile app developers are still debating the validity of the claims and trying to determine whether the source of the leaked data is in fact associated with the NSA. What’s already clear is that the data is, in fact, legitimate — as confirmed by companies like Cisco who released statements about the legitimacy of firewall vulnerabilities in the leak.

Whether or not the Equation Group, the security firm targeted, turns out to be NSA-affiliated or not, one thing is for sure: users, mobile app developers, and the tech community at large is more concerned about hacking and data safety than ever before.

The hacker group is also offering data from the leak for sale in an online auction, although WikiLeaks claims to have already acquired the for-sale data and will release the files “in due course.” The asking price for those who don’t want to wait: 1 million Bitcoin (which sounds suspiciously like the round figure spouted by the Austin Powers villain).

Chief among the concerns of the tech community is the span of the leaked documents, including firewall hacks that suggest data was hackable — by government groups, at least — from as long ago as 2010.

Affected firewall companies are currently scrambling to patch the issues, and Los Angeles iPad app developers are watching the news closely to react quickly if future leaks have any bearing on mobile security specifically.

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