Hackers Plan Auction for Sophisticated NSA ‘Cyber Weapons’

WikiLeaks Promises to Release 'Pristine' Copy for Free

A mysterious hacking group called the Shadow Brokers, heretofore unknown, have claimed an infiltration into the NSA’s computer systems, and to have stolen a number of advanced NSA developed “cyber weapons,” which they intend to auction online.

The group claimed the files to be “better than Stuxnet, ” and were asking for 1 million bitcoins, or nearly $600 million, for the best files in the bunch. Analysts say they believe the files are legitimate, and likely taken from the NSA’s Equation Group. Major security company Kaspersky Lab said that it was “highly unlikely” that the data was faked.

Whether Shadow Brokers ever gets a chance to sell it is another matter, however, as WikiLeaks has chimed in, confirming that they have all the same code, and are promising to release a “pristine copy” of all the files in question for free.

Others noted that the metadata released by Shadow Brokers showed that some of the files were several years old, and that some of the putative exploits therein were explicitly targeted at networking devices that have long since been outdated and are mostly replaced. Still, the insight such leaks would give into NSA techniques for exploiting such systems could potentially be hugely important in detecting future attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.