A sign for the National Security Agency (NSA), US Cyber Command and Central Security Service, is seen near the visitor's entrance to the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA) after a shooting incident at the entrance in Fort Meade, Maryland, February 14, 2018. Shots were fired early Wednesday at the ultra-secret National Security Agency, the US electronic spying agency outside Washington, leaving one person injured, officials said. Aerial footage of the scene from NBC News showed a black SUV with numerous bullet holes in its windshield crashed into concrete barriers at the main entrance to the NSA's headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

NSA Will Release a Free Tool For Reverse Engineering Malware

The NSA has frequently been accused of holding on to info that could potentially improve security, but this time it’s being a little less secretive. The agency is planning to release a free reverse engineering tool, GHIDRA, in tandem with the RSA Conference on March 5th. The software dissects binaries for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows, turning them into assembly code that can help analyze malware or pinpoint questionable activity in otherwise innocent-looking software.

ZDNet noted that this kind of software isn’t strictly new, and GHIDRA in particular isn’t secret (it mainly entered the spotlight with the Vault 7 leak). However, existing reverse engineering options like IDA are expensive and generally inaccessible — this would let any reasonably knowledgeable person tear open a program and gain a better understanding of what makes it tick.

As with the NSA’s other open source projects, this isn’t an altruistic gesture. In addition to improving overall security, it could improve the quality of GHIDRA by letting the community address bugs and introduce their own features. Whatever the NSA loses in control it might gain through better overall security.

credit: Engagdet

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