No-one wants to buy the Shadow Brokers’ stolen NSA tools

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The Shadow Brokers – the hacker group who claimed to have stolen a large cache of National Security Agency (NSA) hacking tools – is disappointed to find that it’s the wallflower at the stolen-stuff prom: nobody’s asking it to dance.

On Saturday, the group put up yet another Borat-esque rant, this one about its conclusion that “peoples is not thinking auction is being real.”

The group is also pouting over the lack of media fawning at its feet, whining about “media no make big story” about the second message it posted onto Pastebin.

At the time that Motherboard covered the auction’s lackluster progress – on Saturday, at 4 p.m. EST – the Shadow Brokers had received bids totaling only 1.76 bitcoins, or about $1,082.


Two days later, at the time of writing of this article – Monday at 10:51 am EST – that total hadn’t budged.

Sheesh, I guess the group is right: nobody’s bidding on the pilfered files!

The group is conjecturing that people may be too stupid to bid on stolen files:

This is just being typical “I’m the smartest guy” dumbass mentality of talking heads. If I don’t understand it then it can’t be done and it isn’t real.

I’m going to make up a more reasonable sounding but still fantasy story to sound smart and make myself feel better!

…or that they are too wimpy:

TheShadowBrokers … is thinking peoples is having more balls, is taking bigger risks for to make advantage over adversaries. Equation Group is pwning you everyday, because you are giant [f*cking] pussies.

The group has implied that the files are worth more than $500 million.

Its briefing document is entitled “Equation Group Cyber Weapons Auction – Invitation,” and it claims that it’s found “cyber weapons made by creators of stuxnet, duqu, flame,” and is ready to sell them on the open market.

The Shadow Brokers initially posted a sample that contained exploit code matching the names and functionality of several previously revealed NSA hacking tools.

Experts have concluded that the files are legitimate and that 3 years ago they were carelessly left behind on a remote server once used as a staging area by an NSA-linked hacking organization called Equation Group.

Last week, Reuters confirmed that theory, after speaking with “four people with direct knowledge” of an FBI investigation into the leak.

Whatever employee or contractor made the mistake owned up to it shortly after.

NSA responded by tuning its sensors to detect use of the tools, especially foreign adversaries such as China and Russia that have strong cyber espionage operations, Reuters reports.

So not only are the files dusty: they’re also radioactive. Using the hacking tools would be extremely risky, since a user would stand out like a sore thumb.

Motherboard has reached out to the Shadow Brokers, but the group said in its most recent message that it would only grant interviews if somebody pays for one.