The National Security Agency is there to help keep people safe in the United States, and in a wider context, people in the whole world. So when there is a problem with the network, the ramifications are felt all over the globe. This was highlighted when Snowden stole confidential files from the agency and decided to leak them to the media. Some of the news still exist till now. Another incident hit the NSA recently and it may be affecting people already.
Recently, one company affiliated with the agency, The Equation Group, had its files stolen and hacked by a group calling themselves Shadow Brokers. Such news is not good for an agency that prefers to keep its moves a secret and away from the limelight. But in recent months this seems to be nigh impossible.
The Shadow Brokers stole a relatively large number of hacking tools and exploits and they were releasing them for sale to the highest bidder. Because the NSA has denied knowledge of the company, analysts and security researchers eventually said that the leaked exploits were in fact from the NSA.
The leaked hacking tools and exploits are powerful, after details for breaking devices from Cisco came out. At the time of the leak, many people feared that the incident was another Snowden issue again, but it seems the problem might have arisen due to nothing but human error.
After an investigation into the matter, it was shown that one NSA operative had inadvertently left the hacking tools on one remote computer, which means anyone who could discover them could get them easily.
The interesting part comes when the investigation shows that the US operative who left the hacking tools had left them behind close to three years ago. Even after the incident, the agency has not been reaching out to any of the software and hardware companies that can help with the issue of seeing if there are any more hacking tools left out in the open on remote computers.
Investigators are now looking at the possibility of whether the aforementioned tools had been left on the remote computer purposefully or unintentionally. They are continuing their investigation in this direction. The report also noted that another possibility would be that there were compounding mistakes which were made either by one person, which would be suspicious, or that more than one person made mistakes which lead to the recent leak of the hacking tools.