Governments have long been known to seek more information about their populace. In the United States, for example, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been long known to seek information through illicit espionage using technology, which we know through leaks from its former employees (see Edward Snowden). Leaks among the ranks of Britain’s MI6 and the Russian government-employed spies are common, but none are as controversial as the one that started with the hacking group Shadow Brokers.

 

The Shadow Brokers (or TSB) see themselves as heralds of cybercrime. After their rise in mid-2016, they have tried to auction NSA hacking tools from the American NSA-sponsored hacking team Equation Group. With websites all over the internet, they have leaked both encrypted and unencrypted weapons-grade hacking programs that attack devices through weaknesses that their vendors have never seen before (otherwise known as zero-day exploits). Though they seem too far from the truth, there is one big thing to consider when they started leaking their tools: the devices’ vendors started updating software security!

 

After five teasers of free programs, they seem to have stopped, but they nonetheless stay within range of governments all over the world. In the wrong hands, the weapons they auction will give their users immense power, and the only hope of the world against the governments who own these, is to prepare their cyber defenses early on.


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