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."
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.