'Shadow Brokers' stole US NSA hack tool, put it online
The seeds of the massive cyber attack that has affected almost 100 countries including India were sown by a mysterious hacking group, "Shadow Brokers", in April when it leaked a hacking tool called "Eternal Blue" developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA). Interestingly, the same tool is believed to have been used by another anonymous hacking group to gain remote access to computers that disrupted hospitals across England. "It's likely that regular online criminals simply used the information that the 'Shadow Brokers' put on the internet and thought 'how can we monetise this'," telegraph.co.uk quoted Graham Cluley, a computer security expert, as saying on Saturday.
The report quoted a statement from "Shadow Brokers", issued to a specialist technology website in December, as saying: "The 'Shadow Brokers' is not being irresponsible criminals. The 'Shadow Brokers' is opportunists. The 'Shadow Brokers' is giving 'responsible parties' opportunity to making things right." "Eternal Blue" was developed by NSA as a weapon to gain access to computers used by terrorists and enemy states around the world.
"Shadow Brokers" in April claimed to have stolen this hacking tool and dumped it online. The hacking group first appeared in August last year when it leaked a list of NSA hacking tools. There were apprehensions that the leak came from an insider gone rogue but later reports suggested that the elite hacking group was tied to the Russian government and was responsible for leaking sensitive data from NSA many times.
The US has never accepted that the tools leaked by "Shadow Brokers" belonged to the NSA or any other US-based intelligence agency but according to a New York Times report, former intelligence officials have said that the tools appeared to come from the NSA's "Tailored Access Operations" unit, which infiltrates foreign computer networks.
The strange relation between "Shadow Brokers" and the NSA has surfaced sporadically since last year when the group came to light. "Shadow
Brokers" also released a cache of information detailing how the NSA accessed private and public networks of some countries.