Microsoft Patches Windows Exploits Shadow Brokers Allegedly Stole From NSA

Posted April 16, 2017

It may be recalled that past year, hacking tools that were confirmed to belong to the NSA's so-called Equation Group were stolen in one of the biggest breaches of classified files since the Edward Snowden revelations.

The Shadow Brokers documents, whose authenticity has not been verified by The National, suggest that the NSA has used access to EastNets systems to monitor Middle Eastern customers' financial transactions.

He added that NSA "completely hacked" EastNets, one of two SWIFT service bureaus named in the documents that were released by the Shadow Brokers.

Late Friday, Microsoft said the exploits had been patched in previous updates, or are not able to be replicated on supported platforms.

SWIFT told reporters it has not seen unauthorized access on its networks, and EastNets said the same.

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The company, which helps connect customers to the financial world's electronic backbone, SWIFT, said the ShadowBrokers documents referred to a "low-level internal server" that had since been retired and that a "complete check" of its systems had turned up no evidence of any compromise.

Yesterday, an elusive group of hackers, who go back by the name Shadow Brokers, released a massive dump of Windows exploits that were allegedly stolen from the NSA.

According to another report in Fortune, the group - believed to be tied to the Russian government - also released a set of confidential hacking tools used by United States intelligence organisation the NSA to exploit software vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows software.

Several analysts have said that the revelations by "Shadow Brokers" are credible and that the files have nearly certainly come from the NSA, as some of them bear the agency's seals.

"I'll bet it's not the only SWIFT service bureau that's been compromised", he said.

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Microsoft's response comes hours after unnecessary fear from several security researchers, including one who advised Windows users to turn off their machines for the weekend.

Via that entry point, the agency appears to have monitored transactions involving several banks and financial institutions in Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen and Qatar. The NSA has not yet commented on the leak.

Snowden, for his part, is pointing a finger at the NSA.

"Maybe if all surviving WWIII, The Shadow Brokers be seeing you next week. NSA did not warn Microsoft". Security experts hope that as more information come out about the leaks, Microsoft will have already released fixes and patches. He suggested that the NSA had been in contact directly about the vulnerabilities, which it lost control of when the Shadow Brokers obtained a copy of the agency's hacking toolkit, and knew which exploits were at risk as early as January. Under this theory, none of the exploits published Friday worked on supported Microsoft products, so the Shadow Brokers made a decision to use them in a propaganda campaign. Microsoft stopped releasing routine security updates for Windows XP in 2014, but some businesses and individual users continue to use Windows XP.

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