Group linked to NSA spy leaks threatens sale of new tech secrets

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Though the Shadow Brokers' online statement did not mention any other tech industry product by name, there was mention of threats to dump data from banks using the SWIFT worldwide money transfer network and to dump data from Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean nuclear and missile programs.

"In June, TheShadowBrokers is announcing "TheShadowBrokers Data Dump of the Month" service", it said. Payment will likely be made in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin given the group's ransom demands in previous cyber attacks.

"TheShadowBrokers is having many more where coming from?" a lengthy message posted Tuesday morning by the peculiar group reads, claiming they own "75% of US cyber arsenal".

In a blog post published Tuesday, titled, "Oh Lordy!"

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Previously, the group had merely sought to sell its hacking tools to the highest bidder. Another NSA employee was also arrested in 2015, but no information has been released about the individual.

While some analysts originally theorized that the Shadow Brokers had stolen spy-agency-linked cyberweapons by breaking into a misconfigured, off-premise attack server, the subsequent and recent publication of an internal NSA PowerPoint slide effectively proved that the group acquired information that would only exist within a closed, classified environment. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and others confirmed the leak was authentic.

It remains unclear who is behind the Shadow Brokers or what their motive is.

In April, the group released passwords to the rest of the hacking exploits in a move described as a protest against President Donald Trump for abandoning his base.

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That was before he fired his Federal Bureau of Investigation director - and the chain reaction of scandal that followed. Key parts of the group are unsettled by Trump's unpredictability and his willingness to cheer on nationalist sentiment.

The leaks, and the global WannaCry virus attack, have renewed debate over how and when intelligence agencies should disclose vulnerabilities used in cyber spying programs to so that businesses and consumers can better defend themselves against attacks.

National security journalist Marcy Wheeler has suggested that Shadow Brokers' recent claims of a new Windows 10 exploit might be a deliberate attempt to inflame tensions between Microsoft and the United States government.

It said is has always been about "the shadowbrokers vs theequation group", and implied the NSA is a cohort of tech companies like Microsoft.

Shadow Brokers came to public attention in August 2016 when it mounted an unsuccessful attempt to auction off a set of older cyber-spying tools it said were stolen from the NSA. "Microsoft has been critical of the USA government over this stockpiling of vulnerability code, and said this was equivalent to the government losing it stock of 'Tomahawk missiles".

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The hacking group said it would release tools to subscribers each month or would "go dark permanently" if the "responsible party" bought all the tools for a lump sum, suggesting that the Shadow Brokers could be willing to hand over stolen hacking tools to the NSA for a price.

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