WARNING SIGN

Suspect in Leak of NSA Hacking Tools Tweeted Cryptically Before Information Dump

A former NSA contractor who is suspected of leaking NSA hacking tools to a group called the Shadow Brokers tweeted cryptically hours before the leak occurred, which prompted a key FBI raid on his home, Politico reported Monday. The Politico report is based on a newly public court ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Bennett. Bennett’s ruling describes the government’s allegations against Hal Martin, including that Martin attempted to contact the Shadow Brokers on Twitter just hours before the leak occurred. “In these messages, @HAL_999999999 asked for a meeting with the [redacted] and stated ‘shelf life, three weeks,’” Bennett wrote. Bennett added that the messages, while “innocuous [...] in another setting,” seemed suspicious to the FBI when viewed alongside Martin’s access to the leaked information. The FBI raided Martin’s home soon after, and allegedly found two decades of classified NSA information. It remains unknown, however, if Martin actually leaked any of that information to the Shadow Brokers.