National Security Agency, the premier United States government watch dog has been in news again. You will remember that the NSA has been in the news for past year for all the wrong reasons. The latest of the private sorties that indulged in NSA was to snoop on around 35 world leaders ranging from Manmohan Singh of India to Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel etc.
A little bit of NSA before we dig deep into the latest hacking of NSA Site. NSA or National Security Agency is direct descendent of the Armed Forces Security Agency. The AFSA was folded up in 1949 and NSA was raised in its place. The primary agenda of NSA is snoop on all the signals intelligence in the US and outside. It is tasked with global monitoring of these signals, collection, decoding, deciphering, translation and finally the analysis of the data collected and its impact on the United States. Through special powers granted by the US government, NSA is authorised to use clandestine methods for snooping most popular of which is phone tapping and bugging electronic systems.
Though this has been going on for nearly 50 years or more, the world came to know about the dirty secrets of NSA due to Mr.Julian Assange and his Wikileaks. After which leaks by Edward Snowden detailing various clandestine programs carried out by NSA like the PRISM, NSA has become a target of ridicule across the world especially on the internet. The primary concern about NSA’s clandestine snooping is the privacy of individuals.
Now back to our story, NSA website was down due to ‘outage’ on Friday at 5.45 pm US time. The Twitter was filled with tweets about a possible DDoS attack on NSA website as the timing of the ‘outage’ was just too fabulous to be true. It is well known that hackers were planning to take down NSA.gov website down and a anonymous hacker already tweeted about taking it down after it was reported. The human rights activists across the world took part in a massive rally today against the NSA’s violation of privacy and human rights concerns. They have also opened a special hashtag on Twitter > +StopWatchingUs so that netizens across the globe can participate in the rally without actually being there.
Russian website has claimed that the attack was indeed a DDoS attack where massive traffic was directed to NSA.gov and that it was unable to handle the traffic. Despise the fact that NSA.gov has enormous funding and resources at hand thanks to Uncle Sam himself, it has not been successful in thwarting the DDoS attack or ‘outage’ that it claims. The outage part is hard to believe as the NSA website undergoes periodic maintenance for any technical glitches.