WannaCry ransomware attack might have slowed down, but it has managed to infect over 300,000 computers globally, with many businesses and even hospitals losing access to precious data.
Shadow Brokers, the group that leaked parts of United States national security agency's (NSA) cyber weapons stockpile which formed the basis of the recent WannaCry ransomware, said it would release hacking tools every month to those willing to pay for it.
Alternately, the Shadow Brokers appears to be giving the NSA or any other organization that has leaked cyber warfare kits to buy back the whole lot and avoid the release of the tools.
The NSA has not commented on Shadow Brokers since the group emerged a year ago, or on the contents of past leaks or Friday's ransomware attack.
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In a post on their blog, the hackers announced that they would be launching a monthly data dump service, comparing it to a "wine of the month club" for hackers.
It claimed that regular dumps could include tools for hacking mobile phones and computers on Microsoft's latest Windows 10 operating system, as well as network data from banking systems and Russian, Chinese, Iranian and North Korean nuclear programmes.
Given that the Wannacry attack has already proven the potency of the materials in their possession, it is rather alarming to consider what could be contained in their next set of leaks, especially if they actually have information regarding the nuclear programs of countries. The malware, which was released by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, was originally created by the National Security Agency. Now, it's considering a new subscription model in which it releases new hacking tools to subscribers every month. It adds, "Each month peoples can be paying membership fee, then getting members only data dump each month".
This isn't the first time the group has attempted to sell its exploits and cyber-weaponry. It also hinted that the blame for the WannaCry outbreak should go to Microsoft and the US government.
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The Shadow Brokers' motives are far from clear.
The rogue hackers have promised more details on their content-monetization strategy in June. It has not responded to repeated requests for comment about the ransomware attack. It also alleges that Microsoft Corp.is colluding with The Equation Group - "the Microsoft is being BFF with the equation group" - the NSA's hacking group, and that the NSA has spies inside of Microsoft and other top US technology companies.
What subscribers will do with these exploits and data will be up to them, the group said. Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said earlier this week the WannaCry attack used elements stolen from NSA cyber warfare operations.
Microsoft did provide a patch for the vulnerability but a lot of machines were still exposed as they had not installed the updates.
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