Thursday, July 18, 2024

Hackers Now Using Stolen NSA Hacking Tool to Attack U.S Government Networks

Cybercriminals now attack the U.S government and shut down the network systems using EternalBlue, one of the most powerful hacking Tool developed by the NSA.

Baltimore, a city in Maryland, continuously struggled under a severe malware attack nearly three weeks that shut down thousands of computers, email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts, and many other services.

NSA hacking tools including, EternalBlue leaked by Shadow Brokers group in 2017, at the same time hackers misused the tools and used it for some of the most destructive attacks including WannaCry, NotPetya, etc.

Prior this incidents, Chinese based Buckeye group, also known as aka APT3, had gained access to those tools and used it for a variety of attacks to gain persistent access to the various targeted organizations.

Mostly the tools were abused by many APT groups that reside in North Korea, Russia, more recently, China and used against various country victims that cause billions of Dollar damage.

EternalBlue Compromised millions of system around the world, and now it showing up in the N.S.A.’s backyard, Baltimore, site of the agency’s headquarters.

“A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.”

It does not only attack Baltimore but its target other U.S cities and towns including Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs.

Cyber Criminals attack Baltimore City since May 7 and shut down the local government network computers and demanded about $100,000 in Bitcoin to free their files: “We’ve watching you for days,” ” “We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up!”.

The Tool specifically exploits the system that running the unpatched software, which allows the attacker to gain the system access and take over the other systems in the network using the malware.

According to NY Times, Report, “Hackers seem to have found a sweet spot in Baltimore, Allentown, Pa., San Antonio and other local, American governments, where public employees oversee tangled networks that often use out-of-date software.”

EternalBlue was one of the most useful exploits in the N.S.A.’s cyber arsenal. According to three former N.S.A. operators who spoke with N.Y. Times on the condition of anonymity, analysts spent almost a year finding a flaw in Microsoft’s software and writing the code to target it.

“Initially, they referred to it as EternalBluescreen because it often crashed computers — a risk that could tip off their targets. But it went on to become a reliable tool used in countless intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism missions.”

EternalBlue was extremely vulnerable, but agencies never seriously considered alerting Microsoft about the vulnerabilities and it might be another reason that it causes severe damage around the world. Former NSA agent said.

Related Read

Chinese Hackers Stole the NSA Hacking Tools a Year Before Shadow Brokers Leak Those Tools – A Shocking Report

Ex-NSA Contractor got jailed for Stealing the Country’s Most Sensitive Classified Secrets Data for 20 years


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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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