THE NSA’S ELITE teams of hackers have for years made it their mission to silently compromise computer systems around the globe. Now one group of anonymous hackers claims to have executed a counter-hack with none of the same discretion: They’ve brazenly announced the theft of a collection of files they say belonged to an NSA-linked spy group. And they’re auctioning those files off to the highest bidder.
On Monday an anonymous group calling itself the Shadow Brokers posted a page to Tumblr claiming to have breached computer systems used by the Equation Group, a team of highly sophisticated cyberspies that the security firm Kaspersky found last year was hacking targets around the world and has been tied to the NSA based in part on evidence from the leaks of Edward Snowden. The Shadow Brokers released a sample of the stolen data, as well as another encrypted file whose decryption key they’re offering for sale in a bitcoin auction.