Hackers Offer to Sell Alleged NSA Equation Group Cyber-Tools

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-08-17 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Shadow Brokers allegedly hack NSA's Equation Group; Google begins development of Fuchsia open-source OS; Salesforce Inbox to include Calendar feature for smarter scheduling; and there's more.

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Read more about the stories in today's news:


Today's topics include Shadow Broker's claim that it stole cyber-weapons stolen from the Equation Group, Google's new Fuchsia Open-Source operating system project, Salesforce's introduction of a new calendar feature for its Inbox app and Microsoft's partnership with Citrix to deliver the XenApp Express remote access application.

On Aug. 13, a previously unknown group identifying itself only as the Shadow Brokers announced on Twitter that it was selling cyber-weapons it had allegedly stolen in a breach of a Equation Group server.

The Equation Group is a shadowy group allegedly linked to the U.S National Security Agency, according to a 2015 report from security firm Kaspersky Lab.

At this point, it's not entirely clear if there was a breach at the Equation Group or the NSA. Furthermore, neither the Equation Group nor the NSA is likely to make a public statement about its operations or whether they have been hit with a data breach.

A spokesperson for Kaspersky Lab, which first publicized information about the Equation Group, told eWEEK that Kaspersky Lab doesn't have any information on the breach at this time, but the company's research team is investigating.

Google has begun work on a brand-new open-source operating system called Fuchsia. From the few details that are publicly available about it on the GitHub code repository, Fuchsia will be completely different from Google's Android and Chrome operating systems.

Fuchsia appears to be targeted at smartphones, high-end PCs featuring fast processors and large amounts of memory and internet of things devices.

The biggest difference between Google's existing operating systems and Fuchsia is that the latter will not be based on the Linux kernel. It will instead use a new kernel called Magenta, which according to Google's description on GitHub, is the "core platform" powering the Fuchsia OS.

Salesforce.com announced a significant new feature that it's added to its Inbox email app—a Calendar app that integrates with data stored on the company's CRM platform.

The idea is to make sales reps more efficient, particularly on mobile devices, by giving them information on clients and prospects without having to launch a separate program.

The news comes after an earlier Salesforce announcement about integration with Microsoft's popular Outlook email program. Salesforce Inbox is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.

Azure RemoteApp, Microsoft's cloud-based remote application access service, is shutting down in 2017. Taking its place is a new collaboration between Microsoft and virtual desktop specialist Citrix called XenApp Express.

The product, currently under development, "combines the simplicity of application remoting and the scalability of Azure with the security, management, and performance benefits of XenApp, to deliver Windows applications to any employee on any device," wrote Microsoft's Remote Desktop group in an Aug. 12 blog post.

"We will have much more to share on this offering through the coming months." As a result, the company plans to shut down Azure RemoteApp in just over a year, on Aug. 31, 2017. Microsoft will stop taking orders for the service on Oct. 1.


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