Tuesday, March 12, 2019

NSA to Release Ghidra Reverse Engineering Software Tool for Free Download

Your Tax Dollars at Work!
At a recent security conference, RSA, a new reverse engineering software tool was demonstrated by none other than the National Security Agency.  The super secret government organization is the one that provides cyber security as well as cyber tracking.  Osama Bin Laden’s courier was tracked to the house in Abbotobad by these folks.  The group is so super secret about what it does that, for a while, the government would neither confirm nor deny its existence leading to the joke that NSA stood for “No Such Agency”.  This cyber spying agency has been known to break into systems world wide to aid national intelligence.
That’s why this story is such a big deal.  NSA’s Senior Advisor Rob Joyce demonstrated the tool which is called “Ghidra”.  In addition to providing a demonstration to the conference attendees, Joyce also made the announcement that the NSA would make the program available for download and they’ve also made it open source.  That means the program will be free and others can tinker and make improvements in it.  Although not yet available, when it is you will be able to download it from this link.
Ghidra is said to be a very powerful SRE (software reverse engineering) tool.  It is written in Java which means it is pretty much operating system agnostic.  That will allow it to run on Linux, Windows, and Mac easily.  Because it is in Java there isn’t even an install routine.  Simply download and run.
This should provide some fun for tinkerers and some real help for professionals looking to peer into the inner workings of programs.
Of course it also makes you wonder.  If the NSA is giving this away it must be no longer useful to them.  What are they using now and how robust is whatever it is?  This is one of those great mysteries that truly, for almost all of us, has no answer.  Still it’s fun to ponder.  These types of security things fascinate me.  If you are a diehard gear head, get your hands on this tool and see what it can do. 

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