New leak suggests NSA penetrated Mideast banking networks

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Today, an internet hacking collective called The Shadow Brokers dumped a giant pile of what they claim are NSA hacking tools that target Windows machines online.

On Friday, Snowden tweeted that the Shadow Brokers release was "not a drill" and that it shows the NSA was capable of hacking fully updated Microsoft Windows systems. According to the company, "The EastNets Service Bureau runs on a separate secure network that can not be accessed over the public networks".

Because some of the files in the leak appear to be classified, intelligence community personnel are legally barred from accessing them to analyze and verify.

Among the documents is a PowerPoint presentation designated as top secret.

Via that entry point the agency appears to have monitored transactions involving several banks and financial institutions in Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen and Qatar.

The files appear to include logs from 2013 that show the NSA was also targeting oil and investment companies across the Middle East.

Matt Suiche, Microsoft MVP and founder of Comae Technologies, based in the United Arab Emirites, wrote on Mediumsthis release details evidence "of the largest infection of a SWIFT Service Bureau to date".

A slide from a powerpoint presentation allegedly taken from the NSA. Those files were accompanied by a short blog post taking President Trump to task for launching military strikes in Syria, among other recent actions.

However, EastNets called reports that it had been hacked "totally false and unfounded".

He also recommends that companies take inventory of their IT assets so they know which servers might be vulnerable.

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In a statement on Friday, EastNets strongly denied the claims.

The Shadow Brokers, an unidentified group or persons, has hacked the NSA for the past eight months and have leaked a gigabyte of NSA data.

According to several documents, the NSA used the Windows hacking tools to target several banks, including the SWIFT banking system.

According to ZDNet and Hacker Fantastic on Twitter, the tools and exploits affect Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, as well as their server-side variants like Server 2000, 2003, 2008, 2008 R2 and 2012.

Analysts say numerous exploits revealed appear to be three years old or more, but have some unknown vulnerabilities that could still be used by other hackers.

"Maybe if all surviving WWIII, The Shadow Brokers be seeing you next week".

"It is very significant as it effectively puts cyber weapons in the hands of anyone who downloads it", Matthew Hickey, a researcher at the UK's Hacker House security firm, told cyber security website Ars Technica.

"In this case, if Shadow Brokers claims are indeed verified, it seems that the NSA sought to totally capture the backbone of global financial system to have a God's eye into a SWIFT Service Bureau - and potentially the entire SWIFT network", Suiche wrote.

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