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The Shadow Brokers announced yesterday they plan to cancel the auction for the supposed NSA hacking tools and converting the process into a crowdfunded sale.
So instead of an auction that would have awarded the highest bidder access to all the hacking tools, the group is now offering the password to everyone who contributes to an end goal of 10,000 bitcoin ($6.3 million).
This change of heart comes just two weeks after the group complained about how nobody was bidding on their auction.
Only three-fifths of the NSA hacking tools have been released
The Shadow Brokers, who appeared this summer, announced an auction for hacking tools they said they stole from the servers of the Equation Group, a threat actor that many said may be the NSA.
They initially released around 60 percent of the tools for free on GitHub and said the remainder would go to the winner of an auction.
The hackers said they’d be keeping all Bitcoin, even from the losing parties, but offered to release other free hacking tools as a consolation price.
After the Shadow Brokers announcement, newly leaked Snowden documents linked some of the tools with NSA operations.
Nobody wants to buy NSA hacking tools
Seeing that nobody was paying any attention to their auction anymore, the group decided to replace it with a crowdfunding goal. The group’s message verifies cryptographically and appears to be signed with the same PGP key as previous communications.
This was the group’s fourth message published since they first made their presence felt. The full message reads as follows:
“ […] TheShadowBrokers is having other announcement. TheShadowBrokers is being bored with auction so no more auction. Auction off. Auction finish. Auction done. No winners. So who is wanting password? TheShadowBrokers is publicly posting the password when receive 10,000 btc (ten thousand bitcoins). Same bitcoin address, same file, password is crowdfunding. Sharing risk. Sharing reward. Everyone winning. ”
Experts have analyzed the previously leaked data and found it to be fully-working exploits and hacking tools, most of them capable of skirting enterprise firewalls.