One of the US government’s most tight-lipped organisations, National Security Agency (NSA) has opened an official GitHub account and has already shared repositories codes for 32 different projects under the NSA Technology Transfer Program (TTP).
Some of these are ‘coming soon.’ Many aren’t new, either, and have been available for some time. and Several of the technologies have been in use for years. SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux) for example, has been part of the Linux kernel for years. None of them is as revealing as you might have hoped, but there are several entries of note. The “Lat Lon Tools Plugin,” for example, is a suite of tools used to zoom into coordinates on Google Maps and Google Earth, while “Maplesyrup” was created to look at the security state of an ARM-based device.
The most secretive of the US’ intelligence agencies employs genius-level coders and mathematicians in order to break codes, gather information on adversaries, develop hacking tools like EternalBlue to defend the country against digital threats.
The move is a step towards a more open environment, however, much of an oxymoron that might be.
Since the Snowden leaks in 2013, the organisation that has always preferred to work in the dark has gradually increased its public presence. It opened a Twitter account the same year, the leak was made and it was the first profile Edward Snowden followed when he joined the micro-blogging site in 2015.
Engaging with techies via Github is a great way to sanitise its image, and potentially recruit talent.