In the midst of upheaval over U.S. airstrikes against Syria, accusations are arising that the U.S. also carried out technological attacks that have gone under the radar up until now. The hacking group, the Shadow Brokers, surfaced every so often with information leaks obtained from the National Security Agency. This past Friday, leaks surfaced indicating that the NSA developed to hack into a number of Microsoft systems as well as proof that the government agency hacked into the Middle East’s banking infrastructure.
Along with the leaks, the Shadow Brokers also issued a statement, saying the leaks were motivated by the recent airstrikes against Syria and Mr. Trump carrying out actions that were contrary to the interests of the people who helped get him elected to the White House. One of the leaks included an Excel spreadsheet containing documents proving that the NSA had hacked into EastNets, which manages international banking transactions through the messaging system called Swift. Swift is a widely used in the Middle East.
Over 11,ooo banks use this messaging system as a method for transferring money. Through this messaging system, the leaks suggest that the NSA was abe to target some of the biggest banks in the middle East, include those in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar, Syrian, Yemen and Palestinian territories. The leaks have confirmed accusations that span back to 2012 that United States intelligence agencies were hacking into Middle Eastern banks.
Previous evidence showed that a computer virus had infiltrated numerous Lebanese banks. However, the virus was peculiar in that it was used to monitor financial transactions of major clients, such as backs of the Syrian government and Hezbollah. Such monitoring activity is strange for typical cyber criminal left questions as to who the Shadow Brokers are. At first, it was suspected that the group was a front for an NSA contractor. However, after his arrest by the FBI, the leaks continued.
Another theory is that the Russian groups who committed hacking during the presidential election are responsible. For now, the Shadow Brokers’ identities continue to remain a mystery. Even the group’s accusations of NSA hacking remain uncertain as EastNets has denied any infiltration into their system.