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posted by on Wednesday April 12 2017, @01:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the look-at-all-the-wonderful-toys dept.

Last August, an unknown group called the Shadow Brokers released a bunch of NSA tools to the public. The common guesses were that the tools were discovered on an external staging server, and that the hack and release was the work of the Russians (back then, that wasn't controversial). This was me:

Okay, so let's think about the game theory here. Some group stole all of this data in 2013 and kept it secret for three years. Now they want the world to know it was stolen. Which governments might behave this way? The obvious list is short: China and Russia. Were I betting, I would bet Russia, and that it's a signal to the Obama Administration: "Before you even think of sanctioning us for the DNC hack, know where we've been and what we can do to you."

They published a second, encrypted, file. My speculation:

They claim to be auctioning off the rest of the data to the highest bidder. I think that's PR nonsense. More likely, that second file is random nonsense, and this is all we're going to get. It's a lot, though.

I was wrong. On November 1, the Shadow Brokers released some more documents, and two days ago they released the key to that original encrypted archive:

EQGRP-Auction-Files is CrDj"(;Va.*NdlnzB9M?@K2)#>deB7mN

-- submitted from IRC


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  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday April 12 2017, @06:48PM (3 children)

    by frojack (1554) on Wednesday April 12 2017, @06:48PM (#492977) Journal

    The NSA uses exploits to get into foreign systems.

    If that were only true, or if it were the only truth, there wouldn't be any controversy.
    But you can't have been paying attention for the last 5 years if you believe this.

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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday April 12 2017, @07:46PM (2 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 12 2017, @07:46PM (#493006) Journal

    Are you saying that the NSA had no part at all in either Flame or Stuxnet (and God only knows what else) and that exploits / vulnerabilities are not used to penetrate the targeted systems?

    Or am I not understanding you correctly?

    --
    Since nobody defrags SSDs anymore, they are more (or less?) prone to failure of their seek mechanisms.
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday April 12 2017, @08:06PM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) on Wednesday April 12 2017, @08:06PM (#493025) Journal

      I was replying to your sentence which I quoted.

      That sentence is certainly true, and is the Congressionally-mandated mission of the NSA and CIA.

      The controversy arises because the Congressionally mandated prohibition against using these methods against US Citizens on US soil is being ignored, and that is what has triggered the whistle blowing.

      The NSA is not JUST using exploits to get into foreign systems.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday April 12 2017, @09:25PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 12 2017, @09:25PM (#493072) Journal

        Ok, thanks for clarification. I am well aware of the domestic spying and am a frequent critic. For example where I wrote:

        If I believed that the NSA was working in our national interest

        Back when the Snowden revelations broke, there were people who thought building a massive domestic spying apparatus was just fine. The problem is that even if you trust the person in power (which I don't and didn't), imagine if one day that apparatus falls into the hands of an insane madman -- and I don't mean kim jong un. Building a massive domestic spying apparatus is not in our national interest.

        --
        Since nobody defrags SSDs anymore, they are more (or less?) prone to failure of their seek mechanisms.