The infamous hacking collective Shadow Brokers – the one who leaked the Windows SMB exploit in public that led to last weekend’s WannaCrypt menace – are back, this time, to cause more damage.
In typically broken English, the Shadow Brokers published a fresh statement (with full of frustration) a few hours ago, promising to release more zero-day bugs and exploits for various desktop and mobile platforms starting from June 2017.
However, this time the Shadow Brokers leaks will not be available for everybody, as the hacking collective said:
“TheShadowBrokers is launching new monthly subscription model. Is being like [the] wine of month club. Each month peoples can be paying membership fee, then getting members only data dump each month.”
To some extent, this is good news, but it is terrible news too. Good because now all these upcoming alleged unpatched vulnerabilities will be patched after being disclosed and terrible because the group will sell new zero-day exploits and hacking tools to private members with paid monthly subscription, instead of telling them to Microsoft.
Apparently, other hackers, criminal gangs, state-sponsored hackers, maybe some journalists and people from tech companies, would naturally join Shadow Brokers’ membership.
Get Ready for the ‘Wine of Month Club’
So, anyone buying the membership of the “wine of month club” would be able to get exclusive access to the upcoming leaks, which the Shadow Brokers claims would include:
- Exploits for web browsers, routers, and smartphones.
- Exploits for operating systems, including Windows 10.
- Compromised data from banks and Swift providers.
- Stolen network information from Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean nuclear missile programs.
The claims made by the group remain unverified at the time of writing, but since the Shadow Brokers’ previously released data dump turned out to be legitimate, the group’s statement should be taken seriously, at least now, when we know the EternalBlue exploit and DoublePulsar backdoor developed by the NSA and released by the Shadow Brokers last month was used by WannaCry to cause chaos worldwide.
Before publicly dumping these exploits in April, the Shadow Brokers put an auction of cyber weapons stolen from NSA’s elite hacking team called Equation Group for 1 Million Bitcoin.
After failed auction, the hacking group even put up those hacking tools and exploits for direct sale on an underground site, categorizing them into a type — like “exploits,” “Trojans,” and “implant” — each of which ranged from 1 to 100 Bitcoins (from $780 to $78,000).
After failure from all sides, the group started leaking those hacking exploits. Last month, the Shadow Brokers released a Microsoft Windows SMB exploit that was used by the WannaCry ransomware, which infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries within just 48 hours.
While talking about the WannaCry ties with North Korean state-sponsored hacking group Lazarus Group, the group said:
“The Oracle is telling theshadowbrokers North Korea is being responsible for the global cyber attack Wanna Cry. Nukes and cyber attacks, America has to go to war, no other choices!”
Shadow Brokers Lashed out on US Government and Tech Companies
In its recent post, the Shadow Brokers criticized both the US government and tech companies, such as Microsoft, for not cracking down on the exploits when they had the chance, months before their release.
The hacking group said the US government is paying tech companies not to patch zero-days in their products, claiming that it has spies inside Microsoft among other US tech firms.
The Shadow Brokers even accused Google Project Zero team, saying:
“TheShadowBrokers is thinking Google Project Zero is having some former TheEquationGroup member. Project Zero recently releasing “Wormable Zero-Day” Microsoft patching in record time, knowing it was coming? Coincidence?”
Who knows if these accusation made by the Shadow Brokers group are true or not, but the world should be well prepared for another WannaCry-like massive destroyer.