Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Shadow Brokers Planning To Cause Extra Damage With More Zero-Day Bugs


The mysterious ShadowBrokers group, which leaked the stolen hacking tool used in last week's global cyber attacks, is threatening to release more such tools next month.

Early Tuesday, a post purportedly from the Shadow Brokers announced that it was starting a sort of hack-of-the-month club.

This data dump could include exploits and tools for browsers, handsets and routers; new exploits for Windows 10; "compromised network data from more Swift providers and central banks"; and network data stolen from Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean missile/nuclear programs.

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In a blog post, the Shadow Brokers blamed the United States government and technology companies for the global ransomware attack on Friday, saying that... Dillon was among the first researchers to reverse engineer the DoublePulsar payload that helped weaponize the WannaCrypt malware over the weekend. The group said that the data would be locked behind a subscription fee, but, beyond that, they do not care who buys the data or for what goal it is used.

The NSA has not commented on Shadow Brokers since the group emerged a year ago, or the contents of past leaks. "That's why people need to pay attention". It is likely that most, if not all of the outstanding exploits held by the Shadow Brokers, have already been fixed by Microsoft, Google, Apple and others. The WannaCry ransomware attack had exploited a vulnerability in Windows OS called EternalBlue, for which Microsoft had sent a patch in March. The fact that the WannaCry attack has persisted for so long indicates how many people globally refuse to update and protect their systems, despite the risks. After that, it tried to sell a dump of zero-day exploits for 1 million bitcoin. In the Tuesday letter, they said they weren't "interested in stealing grandmothers' retirement money", but wanted to send a message to the Equation Group, a hacking group linked to the NSA.

In the blog post, Shadow Brokers mention that they're taking a stern approach towards fighting the cybersecurity practices across the globe - and they think leaking sensitive data is the best option to do so.

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The Shadow Brokers found few bidders for their stolen wares.

"Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage", said Microsoft's Brad Smith.

The leaks, and the global WannaCry virus attack, have renewed debate over how and when intelligence agencies should disclose vulnerabilities used in cyber spying programs to so that businesses and consumers can better defend themselves against attacks. Now, it's considering a new subscription model in which it releases new hacking tools to subscribers every month.

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