A Group Linked to Leaking NSA Spying Tools Is Making Another Threat

The hacker group came to public attention a year ago when it attempted to auction off a set of older cyber-spying tools, which it said was stolen from the US National Security Agency.

"While they don't seem to have the most wonderful PR department", he said, "they've already proved that they had some pretty serious access".

The release included a Windows SMB [Server Message Block] exploit, EternalBlue, which was leveraged in the recent WannaCry global ransomware attack. Though the Shadow Brokers' online statement did not mention any other tech industry product by name, there was mention of threats to dump data from banks using the SWIFT global money transfer network and to dump data from Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean nuclear and missile programs. The group also mentions "The Equation Group", which is supposed to be a hacking group linked to the NSA.

"In June, TheShadowBrokers is announcing "TheShadowBrokers Data Dump of the Month" service", the group wrote in its open letter on the Steemit website Tuesday.

No one appears to have paid the Shadow Brokers for access to the Equation arsenal in the past, at least as far as it's publicly known. How do they expect their newly proposed "monthly subscription" plan work when the previous one fell flat on its face? It said it was "taking pride in picking adversary equal to or better than selves, a worthy opponent" and that it was "always being about theshadowbrokers vs theequationgroup [a sophisticated hacking team believed to be operated by the NSA ]". The post did not identify other products by name.

In April, the hacker collective known as the Shadow Brokers, released a trove of Windows exploits and hacking tools which they claimed to have stolen from the NSA's cyber stockpile.

The attack stoked fears that the spy agency's powerful cyber weapons could now be turned to criminal use, ratcheting up cyber security threats to a whole new level.

In its Tuesday blog post, the group expressed its surprise that governments or tech companies didn't bid in its past auctions. But the naming of Windows 10 specifically will undoubtedly set Microsoft, its partners and corporations using the latest version of Windows, which until now has been unaffected by WannaCry, on edge.

The shadowy hacking group claimed that Microsoft released its vulnerability patch in March while also alleging that the Equation Group was paying USA tech companies not to patch vulnerabilities.

It also caused a public statement from Microsoft attacking the USA government for stockpiling software exploits, arguing: "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen". Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said earlier this week the WannaCry attack used elements stolen from NSA cyber warfare operations.

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