Shadowy hacker group puts alleged NSA cyber weapon up for sale
A group of hackers calling itself "Shadow Brokers" claimed Monday that it is in possession of a powerful cyber weapon that it stole from the NSA, and that it will sell the weapon to the highest bidder. The weapon is said to include the code that the US government uses to bypass firewalls, routers and other means of defense used by hostile intelligence organizations as well as foreign governments, armies, strategic facilities and research institutions. Although the alleged weapon is said to be from 2013, meaning that it is somewhat outdated, experts believe the weapon is authentic and from around the same period that Edward Snowden released the documents he stole from the NSA. The hackers, who are demanding more than half a billion dollars, released pieces of code in an effort to prove the authenticity of the alleged weapon and the seriousness of their intentions. DEBKAfile's cyber and technology experts add that such a hacking of the NSA computer systems would be a serious threat for two reasons:
1. If the hackers can still use the method and tools they allegedly used to gain access to the weapon, it is possible that the group is not selling stolen items but rather the tools for breaking into the NSA computer network.
2. Even if such a weapon is out of date, it would be highly valuable to foreign intelligence organizations as they could use it to learn the methods, techniques and means used by the NSA.
DEBKAfile's intelligence sources add that the offer to sell a cyber weapon could also be a deception by one of the 16 American intelligence and security services, including the NSA itself, or a foreign organization.