Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 03 October 2016 08:03

Hacker group finds no takers for NSA exploits Featured

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The group that released a data dump containing exploit tools created by the US National Security Agency is apparently having difficulty finding buyers for the same.

Shadow Brokers, which is suspected of having ties to Russia, released the tools in mid-August, having obtained them from an outfit named the Equation Group which is suspected of being an NSA front.

In a message written in what looks to be purposely broken English, the group wrote: "Expert peoples is saying Equation Group Firewall Tool Kit worth $1million. TheShadowBrokers is wanting that $1million. TheShadowBrokers is selling Equation Group Warez. The Shadow Brokers Equation Group Auction is being real. If you peoples is being easily confuse, you be stopping here. If you peoples be wanting to know more then keeping reading."

Security researcher Mustafa Al-Bassam, a former member of the Anonymous hacking crew, has made a comprehensive list of the code released by Shadow Brokers and what each package can do. Referring to this, the Shadow Brokers' post said: Peoples is having interest in free files. But people is no interest in #EQGRP_Auction. The Shadow Brokers is thinking this is information communication problem."

After the data dump, networking vendor Cisco was forced to release patches for several products as several vulnerabilities in these products could be exploited using the tools that were part of the dump.

The NSA came under criticism after the dump for finding out vulnerabilities in commonly used products and keeping silent about them, as this appears to run contrary to published American government policy.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, and security expert Dave Aitel, who has worked for the NSA in the past, have both opined that the leak by Shadow Brokers was tied to an earlier leak of data about the Democratic National Committee that led to the resignation of its chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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