The NSA wants you to download this “Final Fantasy” villain to your computer

The National Security Agency (NSA) may have a big, spooky reputation as one of the United States’ primary spy agencies, but you have to believe that they’ve got some hard core nerds working there.

Case in point: on Tuesday, the NSA released an agency-designed tool known as “GHIDRA” to research malware as a completely free-to-the-public, open source program. Gamer types might recognize the name “Ghidra” from the Final Fantasy series, specifically the Ronka Ruins in Final Fantasy V. The word “Ghidra” is actually a poor translation of the Japanese word for “hydra”. A typo in an early 1990s video game?!… yeah, that sounds about right. It’s also possible that the inspiration for the Ghidra name came from Toho’s Godzilla series, as King Ghidorah was referred to a Ghidra in some English-speaking markets. Nah. It’s Final Fantasy, right?

Feed me your secrets… I mean, your malware code!

On the other hand, the GHIDRA program is a reverse engineering tool that takes malware and returns the source code used to make it, which would otherwise be inaccessible. With GHIDRA now free to the public, this gives us common folk a low-cost way to protect against malware.

So, go ahead! You can download GHIDRA right here! I mean, there couldn’t possibly be anything to worry about, right? It’s a free gift from the federal government.

I’m sure it’s fine.


The GHIDRA logo. The binary spells out “Hello world.”- the first statement programmers usually learn to display.

Source: Axios

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