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Tuesday, 04 July 2017 09:19

Shadow Brokers raise exploit prices, hint at unmasking ex-NSA hacker

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The Shadow Brokers, the group that has leaked NSA exploits that have been used to craft the malware used in the last two big attacks, say they will be raising the price for any leaks in July.

The exploits dumped in April are said to have been stolen from a group known as Equation Group which is reported to have NSA links. These were used by the attackers who crafted WannaCry and the malware that hit Ukraine last week.

At the end of May, the Shadow Brokers, which has been linked to Russia, said that any future exploit dumps would be through subscription. A group of ethical hackers banded together to raise the money to buy anything that was released, but then disbanded after being warned of the legal ramifications of their actions.

In its latest missive, in what has now become its trademark broken English, the Shadow Brokers said the next batch of exploits would cost 200 Zcash units (about US$58,000 at today's rates).

The group also issued veiled threats that it would unmask a person, whom they called "doctor person", who they said had been working for the Equation Group and had been tweeting about them.

"TheShadowBrokers is thinking 'doctor' person is co-founder of new security company and is having much venture capital. TheShadowBrokers is hoping 'doctor' person is deciding to subscribe to dump service in July," the group wrote.

Otherwise, the group warned, "theshadowbrokers might be taking tweets personally and dumping data of 'doctor' persons hacks of China with real id and security company name. TheShadowBrokers is thinking this outcome may be having negative financial impact on new security companies international sales, so hoping 'doctor' person and security company is making smart choice and subscribe".

Researcher Daniel R. Wolfford of UAE-based security firm DarkMatter apparently thinks he might be the person referred to, for he tweeted, "Apparently @shadowbrokerss threatened me in his new post. 1) don't feed trolls. 2) I was never equationgroup. 3) let's meet in Vegas."

The Shadow Brokers also announced the setting up of a VIP service wherein for the one-time payment of 400 Zcash units, one would get receive all future exploit dumps.

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Sam Varghese

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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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