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According to a report from The Intercept, a secret agency of USA namely NSA (National Security Agency) is claimed to have eavesdropped on Pakistan’s highest civil-military office with the aid of malware. An obscure online group going by the handle Shadow Brokers asserts having stolen a repository of Internet robbery tools from Equation Group a hackers’ arm of NSA. Members of Shadow Brokers uploaded few of these tools on offer without charging any price; however, declared that the remaining tools would be sold off to the highest bidder hoping to be valued at over one-half billion dollars.
It’s presumed that Equation Group is a contractor that provides service to the NSA. To describe it differently it would be USA’s very own hackers’ team. Cyber Security Company Kaspersky Lab based in Moscow analyzed Equation Group as an extremely skilled hacking group equipped with resources and sophisticated techniques.
Equation Group’s malware server named FOXACID finds mention in leaks by Edward Snowden who once served as contractor to NSA. The NSA when wants to hack into any target uses the method of SECONDDATE to divert that target’s Web-browser onto FOXACID. Other methods of NSA’s hacks are exploiting security flaws within popular e-mail providers via the dispatch of spam else malevolent web-links which divert onto the server.
The Intercept acquired another document, a newsletter of a critical source operations section of NSA that explains the way NSA used other software besides SECONDDATE for repeatedly diverting Pakistan-based targets onto FOXACID so that the target PCs could be infected and compromised. SECONDDATE malware genuinely exists so confirms The Intercept based on a data exposure that Snowden made. Businessinsider.in posted this, August 21, 2016.
It is irrespective of whether Equation Group is part of NSA, the fact remains that very advanced hacking capabilities can get developed inside United States intelligence agencies.
If Equation Group is adept at finding security flaws, it’ll be no surprise for other nation state’s high-profile hackers doing the same. As it stands ordinary people dangerously ignore security measures when online while incorrigibly slackens in deploying security updates/patches so essential for fixing software vulnerabilities unveiled from time-to-time.