nsucurrent.com May 23, 2018

New Shadow Brokers Message Teases Data From Nuke Programs, Windows 10 Exploits

20 May 2017, 12:38 | Shelley Chandler

Trying to capitalize on the success of the WannaCry ransomware, which used ETERNALBLUE for a self-spreading SMB worm, The Shadow Brokers are now announcing the "TheShadowBrokers Data Dump of the Month" service, a monthly subscription plan. According to reports, the fear is that the next such attack might not have a kill switch.

At least not until the Shadow Brokers released screenshots of the Equation Group's stolen "2013 Windows Ops Disk".

In their most recent blog post, the Shadow Brokers have once again reiterated their desire to auction off the materials in their possession, and have also threatened to release more of the materials if they are not paid.

Shadow Brokers' new claim that it possesses information on the nuclear programmes of state governments is extremely worrisome, said Mr Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist for Washington think-tank Centre for Democracy and Technology. That holding back of exploits, in theory, is the reason why Microsoft's Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith was so mad about WannaCry and the USA government stockpiling vulnerabilities.

On the other hand, instead of telling them to Microsoft to patch up those vulnerabilities, it could bring forth a tumultuous situation as far as online security is concerned.

Tuesday's article doesn't say when NSA officials tipped off Microsoft. One of those exploits was used to create the notorious Wannacry ransomware that crippled hundreds of thousands of systems worldwide.

To mitigate its instability in the early days, the NSA hackers were under strict usage rules that required approval from a senior supervisor on a target-by-target basis to use the exploit, the employees recalled. As is to be expected, the group notes that what members do with the exploits is completely up to them.

Shadow Brokers directly attacks Microsoft exec Brad Smith, whose name was on the company's statement, calling him a "scumbag" and questioning his company's links to the NSA.

The Shadow Brokers' first dump of exploits in August sparked a robust discussion within the Obama administration. Despite Microsoft having already patched the vulnerabilities, the firm released a patch in March, a month before the Shadow Brokers leaked the EternalBlue, among other exploits; cybercriminals repurposed the exploit and unleashed devastating attacks across the globe on 12 May. The threat to release monthly data dumps, like a wine of the month club, starts in June. Regarding the type of exploits the Shadow Brokers is promising to deliver, the group says it will deliver exploits for web browsers, routers, handsets and more. What members doing with data after is up to members.

That exploit is ETERNALBLUE, a supposed hacking tool developed by the Equation Group, a codenamed usually given to NSA cyber-operations.

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