News Worms
News Worms


Microsoft Says Users are Protected from Alleged NSA Malware

Microsoft Says Users are Protected from Alleged NSA Malware

When hacking group "Shadow Brokers" started leaking NSA-discovered exploits, many people were understandably anxious. The tools, however, are for pre-Windows 10 operating systems.

Hacking group Shadow Brokers has released a data dump allegedly stolen from the NSA detailing the agency's ability to hack worldwide banks, including the SWIFT network, via Windows PCs and servers used for global financial transfers.

"Other than reporters, no individual or organization has contacted us in relation to the materials released by Shadow Brokers", says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to Reuters.

Hackers compromised the system in March 2016 - stealing the computer credentials of a SWIFT operator in Bangladesh -to send messages to the Federal Reserve Bank of NY that resulted in the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank.

The Good Friday disclosure set off major alarms from people in the security community, who warned that amateur hackers across the world could use them to spread havoc, creating a "Microsoft apocalypse".

Today, an internet hacking collective called The Shadow Brokers dumped a giant pile of what they claim are NSA hacking tools that target Windows machines online.

If legitimate, the files released by Shadow Brokers would be the most significant exposure of NSA files since the leaks in 2013 by former U.S. intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden.

The researcher was able to run numerous exploits found in the cache, according to a tweet.

However EastNets, which is based in Dubai, denied it had been hacked in a statement, and said the assertion was "totally false and unfounded".

"Based on the information contained in the data dump, the NSA has been able to compromise SWIFT banking systems, presumably as a way to monitor, if not disrupt, financial transactions to terrorists groups".

Beaumont wasn't alone. Matthew Hickey, of cybersecurity firm Hacker House, also ran the code against earlier versions of Windows on Friday.

If the leaked files which are claimed to be NSA's spy tools are real, the information will pose a serious threat to the SWIFT network. This is not the first time the Shadow Brokers have targeted the NSA.

An SMBv3 remote code execution flaw in Windows 8 and Server 2012, which Microsoft says it patched via the same MS17-010.

The documents released by the Shadow Brokers indicate that the NSA may have accessed the SWIFT network through service bureaus. The NSA is now facing criticism for not sharing details of the exploits with Microsoft once it became clear the tools were in the hands of a hacking group.

EastNets is one of 74 local service bureaus worldwide certified by Swift, acting as an interface between the global network and smaller banks and financial institutions in the Middle East.

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