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The recent hack on the National Security Agency (NSA), which revealed previously undetected software flaws that the agency has been relying on to penetrate foreign networks, could be putting large corporations and governments around the world at risk. The release of these hacking tools, likely by hackers affiliated with the Russian government, exposes flaws in commercial firewalls that now, can be accessed by virtually anyone with an internet connection. Over the years, security experts have pushed the NSA to disclose the flaws so companies and governments can patch the vulnerabilities but instead, the agency has used them as a means to spy. The release of NSA hacking tools “demonstrates the key risk of the U.S. government stockpiling computer vulnerabilities for its own use: Someone else might get a hold of them and use them against us,” said Kevin Bankston, director of New America’s Open Technology Institute. “This is exactly why it should be U.S. government policy to disclose to software vendors the vulnerabilities it buys or discovers as soon as possible, so we can all better protect our own cybersecurity,” he continued. This marks the second attack on U.S. government-related agencies this month accused of having Russian ties, creating further tension between U.S. and Russian relations.

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