Digital security has reached another level. Hacking tools, exploits and other network tool have is being sold now over the internet. It is believed that these tools sold by the group named ShadowBrokers were from the National Security Agency (NSA).
A total of 61 files are specially crafted to target Windows Machines. Originally, they planned to sell the tools to the highest bidders. However, it did not push through since they have originally priced it at 10,000 bitcoins which is roughly $8.2 Million in exchange for access to the files.
They have announced last last Thursday that they will be ceasing their operations.
“TheShadowBrokers is deleting accounts and moving on so don’t be trying communications. Despite theories, it always being about bitcoins for TheShadowBrokers,” the group said in its final post. “You are being disappointed? Nobody is being more disappointed than TheShadowBrokers.”
There is no clear explanation why the sudden change of heart why they decided to close their doors. There were hints about “political talk” and the increased risk inherent in its involvement with high-profile hacking cases.
They did not disclose where the files have been obtained, however the samples they have released last August appeared to match the programming code that had been obtained by Edward Snowden while he was working for the NSA. However, he never released the files.
It is believed by many security experts that a hacking group is being supported by the NSA dubbed as the Equation Group.
These are not the only things that the ShadowBrokers have in their possession. It is believed that they have additional exploits and credentials that they are still keeping and might be released at a later time if it is not paid to be released in the wild.
It is possible that they are aligned with the Russian Intelligence Agencies and it serves as a warning to the new US government.
During the same date of the exploit release, another hacker believed to be be tied to the Russian government dubbed Guccifer 2.0 made another announcement.
Guccifer’s post denied reports from U.S. intelligence agencies that he or she is a Russian agent. Guccifer is the hacker who claimed responsibility for hacking into the emails of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and transmitting them to Wikileaks.