Hackers Release Files That Suggest NSA Penetrated SWIFT, Mideast Banks

Among the exploits revealed were tools that can reportedly be used to hack into computers using Microsoft Windows, leading to fears that millions of users could be vulnerable to malicious hackers. They might have been used for targeting a global banking system, with one collection of 15 exploits containing at least four Windows hacks that researchers had already been able to replicate.

Although some records bear NSA seals, their authenticity has yet to be confirmed.

The newly leaked NSA files suggest that the agency may have hacked into SWIFT's network via service bureaus, which are firms that provide smaller clients with access points to the SWIFT system.

The documents released by the Shadow Brokers on Friday indicate that the NSA may have accessed the SWIFT network through service bureaus.

The absence of warning is significant because the NSA knew for months about the Shadow Brokers breach, officials previously told Reuters.

However EastNets, which is based in Dubai, denied it had been hacked in a statement, and said the assertion was "totally false and unfounded".

Swift was successfully targeted by hackers a year ago when criminals stole $81m from the Bangladeshi central bank.

That said, multiple experts said the sheer number of zero days released at the same time was unprecedented.

In response, Swift has said there is no evidence that the main Swift network had ever been accessed without authorisation. The tools are capable of breaking into computers running version of the Windows operating system earlier than the most recent Windows 10.

But the organisation said that the local messaging systems of some Swift client banks had been breached.

The documents released by the Shadow Brokers on Friday indicate that the NSA may have accessed the SWIFT network through service bureaus.

As it happened in the middle of previous year, the well-known group of hackers Shadow Brokers are carrying out a series of operations since the last few days. "The photos shown on twitter, claiming compromised information, is about pages that are outdated and obsolete, generated on a low-level internal server that is retired since 2013", the statement added.

If legitimate, the files released by Shadow Brokers would be the most significant exposure of NSA files since the leaks in 2013 by former USA intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden.

Cris Thomas, a security researcher with Tenable, said analysis of the leaked files suggested the U.S. government had the capability "to monitor, if not disrupt, financial transactions to terrorists groups".

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