Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Hackers release files indicating NSA monitored global bank transfers

TheShadowBrokers, which startled the security experts previous year by releasing some of the NSA's hacking tools, has recently resumed pouring secrets into the public domain.

SWIFT said that it has no evidence that its primary network has been accessed without authorisation.

He said other documents in the release suggested an even wider effort to monitor the world's transactions.

SWIFT said in a statement that the allegations involve only its service bureaus and not its own network.

The group behind the leak, the Shadow Brokers, didn't clearly explain why they dumped the files.

"That's information you can only get if you compromise the system", Suiche said, Reuters reported.

Hackers have been targeting SWIFT, the Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication co-operative, which eases global transactions.

On April 8, the group published a batch of NSA exploits it had previously tried, and failed, to sell.

Since the early 1990s, interrupting the flow of money from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere to al-Qaida, the Taliban and other militant Islamic groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries has been a major objective of USA and allied intelligence agencies.

"The reports of an alleged hacker-compromised EastNets Service Bureau network is totally false and unfounded". In a video, he demonstrated this against a machine running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and pulled off the hack in less than two minutes.

The EastNets hack was dubbed JEEPFLEA_MARKET and includes PowerPoints of the company's network architecture, passwords for the system, and thousands of compromised employee accounts from different office branches. The company has checked its servers and found no compromise or any vulnerabilities.

The NSA has previously shown interest in targeting SWIFT, according to documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The agency monitored the system to spot payments meant to finance crimes, according to the documents released by Snowden.

No one has yet discovered the identity of Shadow Brokers, or of the hackers that gained access to the NSA materials.

They "suggest the NSA was targeting the SWIFT banking system of several banks around the world".

The real mystery here is why the Shadow Brokers released this data.

This current leak, the second in the past week, came with a note offering the government a chance to silence the Brokers before they released any more information by purchasing the leaks.

"Whenever the NSA is caught going in the backdoor when they already had front-door access (such as the backdoor monitoring of Google and Yahoo's internal communication revealed in the Snowden documents), it not only closes the backdoor but also results in legal pushback that may limit the front-door access", Weaver told CNNTech in an email.

Microsoft said in a statement to the BBC that it was "reviewing the report and will take the necessary actions to protect our customers".

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