"ShadowBrokers" threatens to release more cyber attack tools
18 May, 2017, 20:36 | Author: Nadine Todd
It also threatened to dump data from banks using the SWIFT worldwide money transfer network and from Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean nuclear and missile programmes, without providing further details.
Security experts have been analyzing the blog post for clues about the Shadow Brokers' intentions and capabilities. "Comey Wanna Cry Edition" the group accused the NSA of paying Microsoft to keep vulnerabilities in its software. However, given the group's track record of leaking legitimate information that many believe to be sourced from the NSA, it is likely that at some point, this data will become public, one way or another.
Things might take a turn for the worst because the collective hacking group known as The Shadow Brokers has revealed that they will be releasing more zero-day bugs and exploits. He says cyber security leaders should pay attention to what Shadow Brokers does next. It also alleges that Microsoft Corp.is colluding with The Equation Group - "the Microsoft is being BFF with the equation group" - the NSA's hacking group, and that the NSA has spies inside of Microsoft and other top US technology companies. Another NSA employee was also arrested in 2015, but no information has been released about the individual.
The Shadow Brokers are threatening to make public more of the exploits and tools that they have access to, thanks to the NSA hack. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and others confirmed the leak was authentic.
The ransomware Attack was because of the existing Windows XP systems throughout the world which had been announced unsupported by Microsoft after 2014.
The Shadow Brokers originally tried selling off the stolen tools in an auction, but backed down after receiving no bidders. But the retirement was short-lived as the group returned in April, ostensibly because of the Trump Administration's decision to bomb Syria.
In a convoluted post on Steemit.com and shared on the mysterious group's Twitter account, Shadow Brokers says it has more exploits and attack tools in its possession.
On the other hand, instead of telling them to Microsoft to patch up those vulnerabilities, it could bring forth a tumultuous situation as far as online security is concerned. A spokeswoman for Microsoft said it was now once again preparing a response.
"TheEquationGroup is having spies inside Microsoft and other USA technology companies. Witting HUMINT. Russian, China, Iran, Israel intelligence all doing same at global tech companies".
It added that "if a responsible party buys all lost data before it is sold, then Shadow Brokers will have no more financial incentives to be taking continued risks of operation and will go dark permanently".
The original patch and the emergency patches can be found at: http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4012598 . This ransomware spreads by using a vulnerability in implementations of server message block (SMB) in Windows systems.
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The harsh lesson to be learned is that we have to better protect our systems, at the individual, corporate and government levels. The list of institutions affected is expected to grow as more become aware of hacks or if more variants spread infections.