A group with pseudo name “The Shadow Brokers” announced an auction for a number of cyber weapons. These weapons were claimed to be hacked and stolen from “The Equation Group” an alleged National Security Agency hacking group. The main claim from this mystery group is just an idea behind making money.
Kaspersky researchers analysed the Equation Group and found codenames which is also found in documents leaked by Snowden. The fact that NSA got hacked caused a surprise and mild disapproval in itself.
The Shadow Brokers released some legitimate files which were considered in a specific way by computer security experts. The hacker group is demanding bitcoins which cost millions of dollars to release the rest. The files were supposed to contain the frameworks for multiple NSA hacking tools.
The hackers don’t put their toolkits and exploits online where they can steal potentially. NSA research scientist Dave Aitel believes the more data might be taken on to a USB stick from an insider rather than a hack. It’s more of a classic spy operation with human intelligence.
“This idea that a group of unknown hackers are going to take on the NSA seems unlikely as well, There is a long arm and a long memory to the US intelligence community and I don’t think anyone wants to be on the other end of that without good reason. I don’t necessarily think a million bitcoin is a good enough reason.” Says, Aitel.
If the Shadow Brokers owned NSA’s command and control server, it would be a great approach to try other interesting things they might be able to find. “we follow Equation Group traffic. We find Equation Group source range. We hack Equation Group. We find many Equation Group cyber weapons,” the group wrote on Pastebin. This hints this alleged hacker group of NSA that they are in trouble.
This might seem problematic, and the group may not have access to the server, so it hardly cares about getting back on it. This could be the case as the files are years old. However, it is not an ordinary as any such claim can be later investigated by the victim going through everything to trace who they are. It would be better if they remain silent in case if this is some random hacking group, especially when their victim is NSA.