‘Shadow Brokers’ claim to have hacked an NSA-linked elite computer security unit

From Business Insider:

Cybersecurity experts are searching for answers after an unidentified group claimed on Monday to have hacked into “Equation Group” — an elite cyber-attack group associated with the NSA.

The “Shadow Brokers” claimed in a post on blogging service Tumblr to have hacked Equation Group, and say they are holding an “auction” to sell off the “cyber weapons” they were able to steal. Shadow Brokers have also provided a sample of files, free to access, to “prove” their legitimacy.

Equation Group, widely believed to be part of the NSA spy agency, was described by security firm Kaspersky in 2015 as “a threat actor [hacker or hacking group, essentially] that surpasses anything known in terms of complexity and sophistication of techniques, and that has been active for almost two decades.”

If it was successfully hacked, it would be a highly significant cybersecurity incident. But the facts are still far from clear, and some believe Shadow Brokers’ claims may be politically motivated — and are pointing at Russia as a potential culprit.

For context: Cybersecurity experts have accused Russia of hacking into the Democratic National Committee, and being behind the “hacker” calling itself Guccifer 2.0 that has leaked numerous internal documents from the political party.

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