Ghidra also netted the NSA two nominations for “Pwnie” awards at the typically NSA-adverse DEF CON hacker conference this week. The NSA was also pleasantly surprised with the number of outside developers modifying code and creating new features for the now open-source program. The toolkit is popular enough that the NSA now offers touring classes on Ghidra for colleges and universities.
In March the National Security Agency released an internal malware research tool for free to the public, a first for the secretive agency. Six months later, by most indications, the release is an even bigger event than the NSA thought. From a report: Some aspects of researching malware have long required expensive software. The release of Ghidra, the NSA tool, has profoundly changed the field, opening it up to students, part-timers and hobbyists who otherwise couldn’t afford to participate. It’s been a good six months for Ghidra. The software has been downloaded more than 500,000 times from GitHub. “We had a bet on how many downloads it would be,” Brian Knighton, senior researcher at the NSA, told Axios. “We were off by quite a factor.”