Experts Agree: Leaked NSA Code Is Authentic

"Attention government sponsors of cyber warfare and those who profit from it!" "How much are you willing to pay for the cyber weapons of the enemies?" "We find cyber weapons made by the creators of stuxnet, duqu, and flame".

Former NSA contractor Snowden gave credence to the hack in a series of tweets on Tuesday, August 17, going as far as to suggest that the attack on the the USA intelligence agency's malware server was state-backed. In the blog, the hackers said that the auctioned material would contain "cyber weapons" developed by the Equation Group, a hacking group that cyber security experts widely believe to be an arm of the NSA. "This specific RC6 implementation has only been seen before with Equation group malware". The group said several of the vulnerabilities targeted by the malware - including one affecting Cisco firewalls - were previously unknown, a sign of a sophisticated actor. And while we, as onlookers, can't know for sure whether Russian Federation is behind this leak, nor whether these are really the NSA's cyber weapons, the NSA does, and has gotten the message. According to The Verge, Kaspersky Lab confirmed Wednesday that the tools have "a strong connection" to the Equation Group.

The exposed source code dates from the middle of 2013, when the NSA closed many of its servers and transferred data to new ones after the revelations made by Edward Snowden.

If the group's claims are legitimate, the Shadow Brokers' move represents the latest in a series of cybersecurity setbacks that the United States itself has suffered, coming close on the heels of repeated attacks targeting the Democratic Party. A spokesperson said that it is reviewing all available information related to the disclosures allegedly from the Equation Group, and will analyze any new information that becomes available.

The content of the files is secret, the group said in its announcement. If the information leaked threatens the lives of the agents in the field then the hackers could be in a lot more trouble if caught.

The Grugq, a security researcher, told Motherboard that if the dump is a hoax, the perpetrators put a "huge amount" of effort into it.

The Shadow Brokers team is now putting up the entire set of files online for auction with a starting price of 1m bitcoins - which in today's price comes in at more than €500m. “The proof files look pretty legit, and they are exactly the sorts of exploits you would expect a group that targets communications infrastructure to deploy and use.” Claudio Guarnieri, an independent security researcher whos investigated other hacking operations by the Western intelligence agencies, said that the files might be from a hacked NSA server used in an operation.

"Given the timeframe (Post-DNC hack), this could possibly be orchestrated by the Russian government so America will be stuck with Donald Trump as a President", said Matt Suiche in a Medium post.

He further theorized that the release of said tools could have huge implications for US foreign policy should the software be used as conclusive evidence of malware attacks originating from the NSA.

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