Hackers expose NSA financial spying arsenal, global banking system potentially at risk

Lynne Hanson
Апреля 15, 2017

In addition, he stated that any and all financial services systems that operate Windows are vulnerable to attack, as the NSA's hacking arsenal is now widely available and relatively easy to use for anyone with the requisite skill set. This means either that the NSA can't determine which tools were stolen-a troubling possibility post-Snowden-or that the NSA was aware of the breach but failed to disclose to vendors despite knowing an adversary had access.

Calling the package "by far the most powerful cache of exploits ever released", Hickey said the leaked weapons allowed him to easily hack into several computers.

The tools date from 2013, so they're thought to affect Windows systems older than Windows 10, according to a Motherboard story posted today.

"This isn't a data dump, this is a damn Microsoft apocalypse", tweeted a security researcher who goes by the name Hacker Fantastic.

A Microsoft spokesman declared for ZDNet that "We are reviewing the report and will take the necessary actions to protect our customers". Consequently, their flaws won't get patched, Suiche noted. The contents included compiled binaries for exploits that targeted vulnerabilities in a long line of Windows operating systems, including Windows 8 and Windows 2012.

Now it seems that the NSA gained access to SWIFT customer accounts through one of SWIFT's service bureaus to monitor money flow in the Middle East, although EastNets has denied the claim.

"The photos shown on Twitter, claiming compromised information, is about pages that are outdated and obsolete, generated on a low-level internal server that is retired since 2013", the company said in a statement.

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Analysts say numerous exploits revealed appear to be three years old or more, but have some unknown vulnerabilities that could still be used by other hackers. Some of the targeted Windows versions, such as Windows Vista and Windows 2008, have fallen out of support.

Likely originating with the NSA, the tools give new clues as to the group's targets in recent years, which seem to include both worldwide anti-money-laundering groups and oil companies in the Persian Gulf region.

Researchers are sifting through the heaps of leaked files determining their legitimacy and capabilities. An email to the NSA's press office has not been returned.

The leak adds to the woes of the intelligence community, which has been contending with an ongoing release of alleged CIA hacking tools by WikiLeaks.

The Shadow Brokers, an unidentified group or persons, has hacked the NSA for the past eight months and have leaked a gigabyte of NSA data.

The Good Friday timing is especially bad because, as the LawFare blog points out, all sorts of juvenile hackers (known as "script kiddies") will be active over the holiday weekend, while many defenders will be away. "TheShadowBrokers rather being getting drunk with McAfee on desert island with hot babes", an apparent reference to eccentric anti-virus mogul John McAfee.

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