Snowden: Alleged NSA attack is Russian warning

The former NSA contractor says the auction of alleged NSA cyber tools is meant to warn the US from retaliating for two hacks of Democratic Party organizations.

2 min read
Enlarge Image

Edward Snowden thinks there's more than meets the eye in the alleged hack of the NSA.

Sunshinepress/Getty Images

Edward Snowden says his old employer was likely hacked by his new host.

The National Security Agency leakmeister tweeted Tuesday that the auction of malicious software files allegedly stolen from the NSA may actually be diplomatic signaling by Russia. The software, a set of digital tools, is being auctioned by a group that says it stole the cyber weapons from another group allegedly linked to the NSA.

Snowden's comments are just the latest twist in the drama of an alleged hack of the NSA. A group calling itself The Shadow Brokers posted part of the software online earlier this week to entice bids for the rest of it.

In a 13-tweet blast, Snowden said the auction may be a signal to the US to think twice before retaliating over the hack of two Democratic Party organizations. Those hacks were widely seen as attempts by Moscow to influence the US electoral process.

Snowden wrote the "circumstantial evidence and conventional wisdom" suggested Russia was behind the alleged hack. Possession of the cyber tools serves as a warning that someone could prove US involvement in other cyberattacks.

His conclusion: The leak is a reminder to the US that things could get ugly quickly.

Snowden, a former NSA contractor, has been in exile in Russia since June 2013. Snowden rocketed to international fame after releasing a trove of documents detailing the extent of the intelligence agency's operations.

His story is the subject of a biopic starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt that is set to open next month.

Neither Snowden nor the NSA immediately responded to requests for comment.