The Shadow Brokers are at it again, this time having released what they call “a Halloween special trick or treat for Amerikanskis.”
This release follows their bigger, more hard-hitting leak in August this year when they availed NSA hacking tools for anyone to download.
The latest release consists of files from a hacking group believed to be connected to the NSA and it includes several IP addresses spread across the world.
The release comes during allegations that NSA contractor Hal Martin, who is currently being detained for stealing information from the NSA, is a member of The Shadow Brokers.
The latest stunt by The Shadow Brokers seeks to expose a hacking unit called the Equation Group, which is believed to be working with NSA.
Their post contained over 300 folders with files that correspond to various IP addresses and domains.
The widespread domains of the hacking group were spread across China, Russia, India, Sweden, and many more countries.
Upon an analysis conducted by an Internet security researcher known as Hacker Fantastic, it was revealed that the dump contained 306 domains and 352 IP addresses traced to a total of 49 countries.
“Attribution Still an Issue” – Mustafa Al-Bassam
Internet security researcher Mustafa Al-Bassam said, it was possible that the IP addresses were servers that had been taken over by the NSA and were now used to aid their hacking operations.
Victims of the hacking unit could also use the dumped files to try and find out whether they had been potential targets.
Al-Bassam made a tweet pertaining to the leaked files, pointing out that the NSA had also compromised servers in Russia and China.
Impossible to Verify the Source Beyond Reasonable Doubt
Despite the most recent leak from the hacking group, The Shadow Brokers, people are still unconvinced over whether it is truly the work of a rogue unit or it was simply the NSA’s attempt to hide behind a fake identity.
To reach any convincing answer, the contents of the dumped files would need to be thoroughly validated.
According to Alan Woodward, a visiting professor at the University of Surrey, analyzing the files might help to directly link it to a particular hacking group.
However, there would be no way to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the particular hacking group was not the NSA, or affiliated with the NSA or any other governmental agency.
The NSA did not respond to a comment request.
Hacking Collective Complains of Not Getting Enough Coverage
The Shadow Hackers grabbed everyone’s attention in August after they released download links for tools that the NSA used to conduct their hacking exploits on a number of websites.
The tools were designed to bring down firewalls, which are commonly used by the government and a number of corporations to protect their networks from cyber attacks.
The released files were just to get their audience interested in what they really had to offer since the hacking group held an online auction where they promised to release the rest of the files to the winner of the said auction.
The auction would only be over if they had managed to gather a total of one million bitcoin.
No refunds would be made by the losing parties.
In October, after raising an amount of $1,400 (2 BTC) from 69 bids, the auction was called off and the latest set of files was released, alongside a message containing a password and their dissatisfaction at the mainstream media’s apparent lack of interest in their trick.
The message was written in their characteristically broken English.
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