Leaked NSA cyber-tools could penetrate Windows; Microsoft denies
Shadow Brokers, the mysterious hacker group known for leaking stocks of NSA cyber-weapons in the past months, has now leaked number of exploits that can potentially penetrate most versions of Windows systems, The Intercept reports. The leaked “zero day” exploits – linked to vulnerabilities that are not known even to software vendors themselves and are sold for hundreds of dollars on cybercrime markets – were allegedly stolen from the NSA, and include tools to possibly penetrate Windows 8 and Windows 2012, and evidences of sophisticated hacks on the SWIFT baking system across the world. According to ArsTechnica, experts confirm that this most recent leak is one of the most damaging that the group has released thus far. In its most recent blog, however, Microsoft has declined that leaked exploits work against its currently supported products, because it has already issued patches for these exploits in March, one month before the exploits leaked. Microsoft has, however, not mentioned who had reported these vulnerabilities, yet it signaled that it had no contact with NSA officials in this regards. While most home and small-office computers have probably already been patched thanks to the automatic updates, experts fear that computers in larger institutions, whose administrators commonly take time to test how patches impact their networks before doing the updates, might remain critically vulnerable.