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Earlier today, Microsoft concluded an investigation which it started yesterday after a mysterious group of hackers known as The Shadow Brokers dumped a trove of Windows exploits online, as part of a plan started a year ago and aimed at ousting the Equation Group cyber-espionage group as the NSA, and so, exposing the US' foreign hacking operations.

EastNets is one of 74 local service bureaus worldwide certified by Swift, acting as an interface between the global network and smaller banks and financial institutions in the Middle East. "Understandingly, customers have expressed concerns around the risk this disclosure potentially creates", Phillip Misner, principal security group manager of the Microsoft Security Response Center, wrote in the corporate blog post. Matthew closed out his email by noting that "Microsoft will need to release fixes for several of the ETERNAL exploits and customers should ensure they apply them as soon as available".

The documents released by the hackers did not clearly indicate whether the NSA had actually used all the techniques cited for monitoring SWIFT messages.

Swift said that it had no evidence that its main network had ever been accessed without authorisation, Reuters reported on Friday. Also, they have said in the statement that some of the SWIFT client banks might have been breached but they didn't mention NSA specifically.

Given that the Shadow Brokers have been sitting on this information since August 2016, the NSA presumably knew that the hacker group may have had access to their cyberweapons stockpile and could have alerted Microsoft, which in turn may have helped the firm issue out patches to protect users from potential attacks.

Because tracking sources of terrorist financing and money flows among criminal groups is a high priority, SWIFT transfers would be a natural espionage target for many national intelligence agencies.

The exploits, published by the Shadow Brokers on Friday, contain vulnerabilities in Windows computers and servers. He wonders whether the NSA tipped off Microsoft.

A day later, the Redmond giant says that most of the dumped exploits had already been patched in previous years, and some of them, even this year.

The document purports to show the infrastructure behind the system, along with another document, which shows that the NSA has deep access to some networks by exploiting VPN and firewall systems.

One of SWIFT's service bureaus, the Dubai-based EastNets, which was allegedly among those hacked, strongly rejected the claims as "totally false and unfounded".

Either way, if you're running Windows 7 or above then you're safe from this round of exploits as long as you've applied all updates from Windows Update. There has also been speculation that Microsoft may have paid the Shadow Brokers to obtain knowledge of the exploits.

The SWIFT messaging system is used by banks to transfer trillions of dollars each day. Kevin Beaumont, who has been working tirelessly to fill in the blanks, says he thinks numerous vulnerabilities, including those that affect Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 7, and 8, are zero-day.

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