NSA website back online after mysterious blackout
The National Security Agency's website came back online Tuesday evening, nearly a day after it inexplicably went down.
Intelligence officials declined to comment on the outage. An unnamed source reportedly told FedScoop that it was the result of an "internal review," but it is unclear why the agency would engage in such a review without announcement, or why it would do so on a weekday, when traffic tends to be higher.
The incident follows a report on Monday that a new hacking group calling itself the Shadow Brokers is trying to auction off data stolen in a breach of the agency. The group claimed in a blog post that it had successfully penetrated the Equation Group, a hacking organization linked to the NSA last year by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs.
Though NSA similarly declined to comment on whether it had been hacked, Kaspersky said on Tuesday that the tools being offered by the Shadow Brokers did indeed bear similarities to those used by their alleged victim. "While we cannot surmise the attacker's identity or motivation nor where or how this pilfered trove came to be, we can state that several hundred tools from the leak share a strong connection with our previous findings from the Equation Group," Kaspersky reported.
Experts, including former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, have suggested the Shadow Brokers were expelled from NSA servers in 2013. Snowden took credit in a message on Twitter earlier Tuesday, saying the group would have been expelled after a server migration that resulted from Snowden leaking the agency's secrets.