New leak suggests NSA penetrated Mideast banking networks

New leak suggests NSA penetrated Mideast banking networks

The hacker group Shadow Brokers, which hinted there's more to come, released a batch of documents Friday that if genuine indicate the NSA hacked into EastNets, which oversees the global SWIFT transaction for dozens of clients, particularly in the Middle East, Wired reported.

Mustafa Al-Bassam, a computer science researcher at University College London, said on Twitter that the Shadow Brokers documents show that the "NSA hacked a bunch of banks, oil and investment companies in Palestine, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, more".

TheShadowBrokers, which startled security experts a year ago by releasing some of the NSA's hacking tools, has resumed pouring secrets into the public domain, this time by publishing purported details of the NSA's operations against banks across the Arab world.

If the files are real, the exposed information represents a threat to the SWIFT network, said Matt Suiche, founder of security firm Comae Technologies, who has been looking over the leaked files. The releases are published with unusual and misspelled blog posts, and recent posts have been critical of the Trump administration.

EastNets, one of the two services bureaus exposed in the leak and allegedly infiltrated by the NSA, released a statement denying it had been hacked.

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"Eastnets' claim is impossible to believe", said Kevin Beaumont, who was one of several experts who spent Friday combing through the documents and trying out the code.

A SWIFT banking representative backed up EastNets statement and said there was "no impact on SWIFT's infrastructure or data", and "no evidence to suggest that there has ever been any unauthorized access to our network or messaging services".

"It contains the evidences of the largest infection of a SWIFT Service Bureau to date", Suiche later added.

Repeated messages seeking clarification from EastNets went unreturned.

The group had been largely quiet since January until this weekend, when the Brokers released a new set of files in purported protest of President Trump not staying true to his populist principles. Most of these exploits target older version of Windows however, some among them are also viable as hacks for more recent version of Windows - for instance, Windows 8.

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The opinion was seconded by Matthew Hicke, y of UK-based cybersecurity company Hacker House.

"It's an absolute disaster", he told the Associated Press.

A Microsoft spokesman declared for ZDNet that "We are reviewing the report and will take the necessary actions to protect our customers". It declined to elaborate.

"Based on the information contained in the data dump, the NSA has been able to compromise SWIFT banking systems, presumably as a way to monitor, if not disrupt, financial transactions to terrorists groups". "TheShadowBrokers supports you. TheShadowBrokers is losing faith in you". You have encouraged us in our mission - to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. Subscriptions start as low as 25¢ per day.

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