The dumping online by Shadow Brokers of hacking tools, developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, is leading to speculations that Russia has launched a cyberwar against the United States. The rumor was further fueled by a string of data leaks from the Democratic National Committee.
The likely target of the attack is the Clinton Foundation, suggested BBC. It could possibly be part of a Russian campaign to damage the US and influence the election in November.
When BBC analyzed the malware released by Shadow Brokers, it found it could be used to hack routers and firewalls made in the U.S. Previously, American technology companies Fortinet and Cisco had warned buyers of its products of serious exploits in the dumped malware which could affect their products.
CNET reported that the dump includes a malware which could detect the firmware of a gadget and persist even if the OS is reinstalled. It is an indicator of a serious level of expertise and technical ability, said Brendan Dolan-Gavitt, assistant professor a New York University’s School of Engineering.
Some of the exploits could go undetected. “The Equation Group” is believed to the developer of the hacking tools, exposed in 2015 by Kaspersky, a security firm.
Unfortunately, no one knows how the information were acquired, although one possibility, based on speculation, is the server operated by the NSA could have been hacked.
Despite the speculated Russian involvement, U.S. President Barack Obama had stated it would not have a significant impact on his diplomatic relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.