An FBI-led investigation says that a breach that resulted in the theft of hacking tools used by the National Security Agency might be linked to one of the employees or contractors at the NSA who inadvertently left such tools on a remote computer, Reuters reported Thursday.
Joseph Menn and John Walcott write that four people familiar with the probe say that the former NSA operative mistakenly exposed the tools during an agency operation conducted three years ago and that Russian hackers might be responsible for the breach.
A hacker group known as “Shadow Brokers” dumped the hacking tools on public websites, the report said.
Reuters noted the hacking tools work to help threat actors take advantage of software flaws in communications and computer systems from Fortinet, Cisco Systems and other vendors.
The news comes more than a month after Shadow Brokers announced on the microblogging site Tumblr their plan to auction off documents the group claimed it stole from computer systems of NSA-associated team of cyber spies known as “Equation Group.”