Citing increased risk and a lack of profit, the Shadow Brokers hacking group that has been attempting to sell cyber tools apparently stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency announced Thursday that it was going silent. But before going dark, the group made 61 Windows hacking tools freely available via download.
The Shadow Brokers are not disappearing altogether, however: the group said on its website that its offer to sell its full set of NSA cyber weaponry for 10,000 Bitcoins still stands and interested parties can initiate this transaction via a publicly known Bitcoin address.
Jake Williams, founder of Rendition InfoSec, told Ars Technica that the group could in fact be Russian operatives sending a message to the U.S. before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, who is widely seen as soft on Russia and its alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election.
In its post, however, the group insisted its motives were purely financial. “Despite theories it always being about bitcoins for TheShadowBrokers,” said the post, adding that the group is disappointed it has not made more money.
According to Ars, the latest batch of released tools appear to have included a backdoor, bypasses for antivirus programs, detection evasion tools and more. The Shadow Brokers cautioned that these tools can be detected by a Kaspersky Lab security product; indeed, a Kaspersky Lab representative confirmed to Ars that his company’s products detected 44 of the 61 malicious tools.