A team of hackers claims to have stolen malware code from a group linked to the U.S. National Security Agency.
(CCM) — A team of hackers going by the name "Shadow Brokers" alleges to have acquired United States government-sponsored malware data from security agency, The Equation Group. The hackers describe the stolen code as "cyber weapons," according to reports by The BBC, and these claims are supported by both WikiLeaks and experts who have analyzed a sample of the haul and contend that the content appears to be genuine. The group has begun a bitcoin auction for the data, which they say that they will end by sending decryption instructions to the highest bidder "when [they] feel it is time to end." It has also suggested that it may decide to simply release the data for free if its received bids reach the one-million-bitcoin mark (roughly $581m).
Though the hacking and subsequent auction could prove to be very lucrative for the group, it also runs the risk of not only revealing government hacking techniques and attempts but also being heavily punished for having done so. In 2013, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed classified data about the NSA's surveillance program and was forced to self-exile as a result.
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