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NSA release it’s GHIDRA tool for free

January 14, 2019 - Cyber Security
NSA release it’s GHIDRA tool for free

The National Security Agency (NSA) of United States is planning to release its internally designed reverse engineering software for free at the upcoming RSA security conference 2019 that will be held in San Francisco in month March.

The presence of the frame-work, dubbed GHIDRA, was first publicly naked by WikiLeaks in CIA Vault 7 leaks, and now the tool once again came to light after Senior NSA Adviser Robert Joyce announced publicly to release the tool for free in his RSA Conference depiction.


Reverse engineering tool is a disassembler, e.g., IDA-Pro, that helps researchers detect specific portions of the program to see how they work by reading info like its processor instructions, instruction lengths, and further.

GHIDRA is a Java-based reverse engineering frame-work that features a graphical user interface (GUI) & has been designed to run on a range of platforms including macOS, Linux, and Windows operating systems, & also supports a variety of processor instruction set.

The toolkit can also be used to analyse binary files used by programs, including malware, for all major operating systems, including Linux, macOS, Windows as well as mobile platforms such as iOS & Android.

An abstract from Joyce’s presentation notes that “the GHIDRA platform includes all the features expected in high-end commercial tools, with new & expanded functionality National Security Agency (NSA) uniquely developed, & will be released for free”.

According to Vault 7 documents, GHIDRA was initially developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the early 2000s, & a Reddit user “hash_define” who claimed to have had access to GHIDRA said that the reverse engineering tool had been shared with some other US government agencie’s in the past few year’s.
While there is no such statement from the National Security Agency (NSA) is planning to open source GHIDRA tool, some also believe that the agency will also publish GHIDRA source code on NSA’s code repository hosted by Github. On Github it has already released 32 projects, so the open source community can help maintain it.

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