Phillip Misner, a security manager for Microsoft Corp., said that patches to protect users were already developed and put into place and are included in the latest updates. Only nine out of the 12 tools published by Shadow Brokers could negatively impact current Windows programs.
“Most of the exploits are already patched,” Misner said.
After more NSA malware was revealed by the hacker group in early April, some security experts were concerned that unsavory people would use the tools to “wreak havoc on millions of Microsoft users” as one Intercept article put it.
Particularly concerning about the leaked tools was most people with little more than a basic understanding of computers could figure out how to use them.
Matthew Hickey, co-founder of Hacker House, said that this leak was large, and not be underestimated.
“This is as big as it gets,” he said. “Nation-state attack tools are now in the hands of anyone who cares to download them . . . it’s literally a cyberweapon for hacking into computers . . . people will be using these attacks for years to come.”
Shadow Brokers dumped the malware data in retaliation for President Trump’s decision to order missile strikes in Syria after chemical weapons were used, presumably by troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The hackers, which some experts think may be Russian, condemned the action and encouraged Trump to resume his “America First” policy.
“Do you be remembering when you were sitting there at the Obama Press Party and they were all laughing at you?,” the hackers wrote. “Do you be remembering when you touring the country and all those peoples believed in you and supported you? You were those peoples hope. How do you be thinking it will be feeling when those people turn on you? Will they be laughing at you, hating you, and mocking you too?”
The hackers have threatened to continue to go after Trump if he makes foreign policy decision that displeases the group. As for the average citizen, update your computer’s virus software and you should be fine.
[AP] [The Intercept] [The Daily Beast] [Image courtesy Getty Images via Wired]