It could be the largest security breach the N.S.A. has faced since the infamous Edward Snowden case. In fact, many experts say the damage caused by the Shadow Brokers far exceeds that caused by the earlier disclosures of sensitive data made by Snowden.
What do qe know about the Shadow Brokers?
While the identity of this group and their true intentions are shrouded in mystery, we do know some facts about their activity. They are a group of hackers who first manifested their existence in the summer of 2016, by publishing a set of hacking tools and exploits which had been collected by the N.S.A.’s special division of computer intelligence, called T.A.O. (Tailored Access Operations).
The Shadow Brokers somehow managed to raid the cyber weapons arsenal at the National Security Agency, stole and replicated those tools and released them to the public – including some of the tools originally alluded to by Snowden. These tools became available to all kinds of third-party hacker groups, potentially ranging from computer-savvy teenagers to terrorist groups or hackers from countries like Russia or North Korea.
How the Shadow Brokers Pose a Threat to IT Security
Several separate crises have been identified as stemming from this calamity, including examples as diverse as the massive WannaCry ransomware that disrupted half million computers throughout the world, or attacks on the computer systems of big companies like Mondelez International, FedEx and hundreds of other enterprises throughout the world. The administrative operations of thousands of companies were disrupted and the life and work of millions of people were affected.
These are just a few high-profile examples, and it’s impossible to point out just what the real damage might have been or how large was the scope of seemingly unrelated issues throughout the world’s computer infrastructures. Only time will tell just how vast the trouble will unfolding from the hacking tools leaked by the Shadow Brokers.