Morning Scan NSA hacks into SWIFT; Wells board faces the voters

Misner noted on the TechNet site that Microsoft has already patched numerous Windows exploits revealed in the leak.

The hacker group Shadow Brokers says the U.S. National Security Agency "has penetrated deep into the finance infrastructure of the Middle East" and compromised elements of the global banking system.

This is one of those situations where updating with this patch is critical as there is an easily exploited hole in Windows and tools that make the process of compromising a system rather trivial. That update was supposed to roll out in February but didn't hit the scene until March, when it patched some of the NSA exploits disclosed by Shadow Brokers.

"We've investigated and confirmed that the exploits disclosed by the Shadow Brokers have already been addressed by previous updates to our supported products", a Microsoft spokesperson stated via e-mail.

A group of hackers unloaded an NSA malware which looks like a collection of spy techniques that were previously used by the National Security Agency. Windows. Swift. Oddjob. Oh you thought that was it?

One of SWIFT's service bureaus, the Dubai-based EastNets, which was allegedly among those hacked, strongly rejected the claims as "totally false and unfounded". "We now have all of the tools the NSA used to compromise SWIFT (via) Cisco firewalls, Windows", he added.

Fairfax was not able to verify the authenticity of the files - and the NSA has not commented on the leak. Hackers could potentially use the released exploits to hack into banks.

The documents and files were released by a group calling themselves The Shadow Brokers. Under this theory, none of the exploits published Friday worked on supported Microsoft products, so the Shadow Brokers chose to use them in a propaganda campaign.

"We have no evidence to suggest that there has ever been any unauthorised access to our network or messaging services". "This collaborative approach enables us to fully understand an issue and to deliver protection before customers are at risk due to public disclosure of attack methods", said Microsoft.

If genuine, such a hack could have enabled the U.S. to covertly monitor financial transactions, researchers said.

The documents released by the Shadow Brokers on Friday indicate that the NSA may have accessed the SWIFT network through service bureaus. But, not every company installs the latest patches as the company has released a few bad apples in the past that have done more damage than good thus resulting in IT Pros delaying the rollout of updates. Customers still running prior versions of these products are encouraged to upgrade to a supported offering'. Microsoft itself claims that no organization or individual aside from reporters has contacted the company in regard to the Shadow Brokers' leak. These tools, allowed NSA analysts to break into a range of systems, network equipment, and firewalls, and most recently tools to target the Linux operating system - many of which were old and outdated.

The Shadow Brokers is a group of anonymous hackers that published hacking tools used by the NSA past year.

  • Arturo Norris