Hackers dump NSA tools targeting millions of Windows machines

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Eternalromance, one of the hacking tools dumped by Shadow Brokers.
Eternalromance, one of the hacking tools dumped by Shadow Brokers.
Photo: Matthew Hickey

A new batch of classified NSA data was leaked today by the hacker group called Shadow Brokers, revealing malware used by the government agency to break into PCs and servers running Windows.

The leaked software is so powerful, it could give nearly anyone with a bit of technical knowledge the ability to hack millions of Microsoft users.

Looks like it’s time to finally get a Mac.

In a message to The Intercept, Windows security expert can Hacker House co-founder, Matthew Hickey, says this is possibly the largest batch of exploits ever released in one day.

“This is as big as it gets,” says Hickey. “Nation-state attack tools are now in the hands of anyone who cares to download them…it’s literally a cyberweapon for hacking into computers…people will be using these attacks for years to come.”

Some of the NSA hacking tools released by the Shadow Brokers are capable of seizing complete control of computers that run a version of Window that’s earlier than Windows 10. According to estimates from Net Market Share, the vulnerable version of Windows ran on more than 65% of internet-connected PCs last month.

To make matters worse for Windows users, Shadow Brokers teased the info back in January. The NSA had at least 96 days to warn Microsoft about the vulnerabilities but the agency stayed silent, leaving millions of U.S. citizens exposed. Microsoft is rushing to fix the vulnerabilities, but with so many exploits leaked, it will probably take a while.

“We are reviewing the report and will take the necessary actions to protect our customers,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement today.