A group of hackers-turned-security experts comprising of Hacker Fantastic and x0rz have reportedly built an Internet-based platform for buying stolen NSA hacking tools. The security researchers behind the campaign claim that through this, they will be able to analyse any potential cyber-security attack and even possibly prevent it.
To recall, a group called Shadow Brokers released several caches of Windows exploits back in April. One leak especially resulted in the now in-famous WannaCry ransomware worm, and others have been used by criminal crackers to illegally access infrastructure of major organisations. Since then, experts have been analysing the data to determine its authenticity and impact on infrastructure as a whole.
The Shadow Brokers group made the headlines again in May when they announced that they not only have more code but that they intend on launching a subscription service for security exploits. “The Shadow Brokers is launching new monthly subscription model,” they wrote in a blogpost. “Is being like wine of month club. Each month people can pay the membership fee and receive access to data-dumps each month.”
This is among those digital nightmares that should not be taken lightly. Understanding the severity of the situation, researchers Hacker Fantastic and x0rz suggest that early access to the exploits could provide them enough time to develop and share fixes for any possible vulnerabilities.
Interested users can help the campaign reach its goal by donating any amount. Notably, users who donate $1,300 or more will receive direct access to the Shadow Brokers’ exploits as soon as they are released. The security researchers are limiting the code sharing to “white-hat ethical hackers” in order to prevent random criminals from using this crowd-funding campaign to their benefit.
The Shadow Brokers’ sale ends on June 30, so the researchers have a month until they can get the money together and buy the stolen tools.