The Shadow Brokers, a group of hackers suspected of stealing surveillance software from the National Security Agency (NSA), intends to sell off a batch of stolen programming in July.
The group said Tuesday it is willing to sell hacking tools to anyone who will pay more than $22,000, a move that is causing alarm among cybersecurity professionals.
Many believe the Shadow Brokers provided the coding that powered the massive WannaCry cyberattack earlier this month that infected more than 300,000 computers across the world.
That “ransomware” attack, where hackers effectively shut down a victim’s computer and files until a ransom is paid, was seemingly created from programming stolen from the NSA.
In a cryptic post written in broken English, the Shadow Brokers said they must be paid in Zcash, a digital currency – like bitcoin – widely believed to be nearly impossible to trace.
The group would not reveal what, if anything, interested buyers would be receiving. In the post, the group said it “is not deciding yet” about what coding to release, but said it would be “something of value to someone”. The hacking tool would be allegedly released in the first half of July. “The time for ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours first’ is being over [sic],” the post continued. “Peoples is seeing what happenings when theshadowbrokers is showing theshadowbrokers’ first. This is being wrong question. Question to be asking ‘Can my organization afford not to be first to get access to theshadowbrokers dumps?’”
After WannaCry, some companies and cybersecurity experts have called for paying for the Shadow Brokers’.—Agencies