Security experts report that NSA security code might have been exposed. The cause of their concerns are the recent leaks of source code from a group called the Equation Group. The crew is rumored by many specialists to be affiliated with the National Security Agency of the USA. The hacker group known as The Shadow Brokers released a large amount the files on GitHub and have created an auction where the remaining code will be sold to the highest bidder.
The Mysterious Equation Group
The leak was published on August 13 by the hacker collective known as The Shadow Brokers on the GitHub platform. According to security researchers, the source code contains exploits that target firewalls by Cisco, Juniper and Fortinet and Topsec. So far none of the manufacturers have commented on the leaks. The Shadow Brokers state that the released portion of the code is 60% of all accessed data from the Equation Group. The remaining data will be sold at a Bitcoin auction to the highest bidder. GitHub was quick to deny access to the published files.
Various researchers state that this could be an NSA hack that showcases some of the arsenal that the agency uses in its covert operations. In 2015 experts revealed that the Equation Group possesses a very advanced set of tools that can be used against various states, companies, and individuals. Some of the allegations include sponsorship of the Regin and Stuxnet attacks. These two historical events have never been proven to be US-sponsored. However, there is evidence that points in this direction. The published exploits from the hackers indicate that they have not been exposed before. Malware researchers speculate that the group may have already created surveillance infrastructure in various establishments.
There have been speculations that the leak may have been caused by foreign countries or sponsored by them companies.
The Equation Group Code
The files contain a fair amount of vulnerabilities and exploits for some of the most popular firewalls made by the manufacturers. Some of them contain intricate code that has been designed to take full control of the firewall. The leaks include covert malware that contaminates the network the security features are bypassed by the vulnerabilities. There are scripts and installation guides on how to use the malware.
Possibly the most interesting pieces of malware and exploit code is contained in the secret files that are on auction right now.
The NSA has not yet responded to the press about the Equation Group leak. The Shadow Brokers remain silent on the issue as well.