Hard Facts Scarce in Purported Theft of Hacking Tools From NSA Server
NEWS ANALSYSIS: Whether a hacking group actually succeeded in breaching National Security Agency server remains shrouded in mystery and conjecture.The public release by a previously unknown group called the Shadow Brokers of information purportedly stolen from a server run by the National Security Agency's hacking team is providing a lot of fodder for conspiracy theorists, but hard facts are in short supply. Shadow Brokers announced in a Tweet that the group was auctioning the results of a hack of a server operated by an NSA team known outside of the U.S. spying agency as the Equation Group. The Equation Group is a name given to a team of U.S. state-sponsored hackers by researchers at Kaspersky Lab which has collected a great deal of information that seems to indicate that the NSA has created an office with extremely talented developers who appear to have unlimited resources. This is the group that is generally credited with creating the Stuxnet worm that wreaked havoc on Iranian nuclear labs. When Kaspersky Lab revealed the existence of the Equation Group, one thing the security researchers didn’t do was to specifically name the NSA. However, their description of the group, made it clear that there was only one likely sponsor, which was the NSA.
Shadow Brokers claim to be offering for sale the contents of a computer containing exploits for a variety of operating systems, along with software designed to implant those exploits and to clean up evidence of the penetration. It all looks very official, with file names that echo code words revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.