Shadow Brokers switch to subscription model!

For the past five days, security researchers, cyber professionals are working hard to find a solution to put an end to WannaCry ransomware. In the meantime, two incidents happened in the industry, which have good and bad effect.

The good news is that Apple.Inc has come forward and released updates for all vulnerable patches in all its devices. The bad news is a statement issued by Shadow Brokers, who leaked the Eternal blue tool of SMB exploit which lead to the creation of WannaCry by a State-funded hacking group in North Korea.

It read: 'OH LORDY! Comey Wanna Cry Edition'. The statement rang another red alert in cyberspace.

Hackers promised to release more 'zeroday vulnerabilities' for both PC's and mobiles in June this year. 'We are planning to launch monthly subscription model. Subscribed members can get the data and tools dumped by us.'

As per this statement, instead of spending millions and billions of bug bounty programmes, subscribing to those groups may help companies to identify the vulnerabilities earlier to patch it.

If done on time, the infection of ransomware based on vulnerable exploits in operating system and devices can be reduced. Their blog post read, 'In June, TheShadowBrokers will be announcing 'TheShadowBrokers Data Dump of the Month' service. TheShadowBrokers is launching new monthly subscription model. Is being like wine of month club. Each month people can pay membership fee, then getting members only data dump each month. What members doing with data after is up to members.'

Shadow Brokers will be selling the exploits, bugs, hacking tools which are stolen from NSA's Equation group to its subscribed members. TheShadowBrokers monthly data dump could be: 1) web browser, router, handset exploits and hacking tools. 2) Selected items from newer Ops disks, including newer exploits for Windows 10. 3) Compromised network data from SWIFT providers and central banks. 4) And compromised network data from Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean nukes and missile programmes.

After this alleged statement, the group defamed Microsoft and other tech companies for not patching up the vulnerable components on time, when they leaked. They also mentioned that there are some hidden relationships between the equation group and Microsoft. This made Microsoft delay the release of patches, which eventually led to ransome attacks.

POSITIVE POLE

Among Internet users, Microsoft has become unsecured and people are rushing towards a change. Obviously, Linux is the user's choice. In this chaotic scenario, Apple.Inc has made an attempt to catch the market by securing its operating system by releasing updates for all its devices. The updates launched for iOS, macOS, Safari, tvOS, iCloud, iTunes, and watchOS will be fixing 67 security vulnerabilities, which prevents the actors to perform remote code execution on vulnerable system.

FLAWS AND CLAWS IN iOS

Apple's mobile operating system iOS 10.3.2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch addresses 41 security flaws, 23 of which resides in WebKit, including 17 remote code execution and 5 cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.

Along with this, iOS 10.3.2 consists of another sets of flaws on iBooks, which may allow attackers to remotely execute malicious code with root access. And memory corruption issue in AVE Video Encoder may allow a malicious application to gain kernel-level access, and certificate validation issue in certificate trust policy for handling of untrusted certificates.

MacOS Sierra 10.12.5 has 37 vulnerabilities in iBook, which may allow the execution of arbitrary code with root access. In the same OS, there is a Wi-Fi networking issue, which could allow actors to steal network credentials. Also, the updates are available for EL captain, Yosemite, Apple watch, Itv OS, iTunes, iCloud and all other products and services offered by Apple.

IT'S A BEGINNING

It's astonishing, at the same time doubtful. After every attack, we learn lessons. But now, Shadow Brokers have opened their gate to access vulnerabilities with subscription. Will Microsoft and other companies accept the invite and pay?

In the meantime, Apple is extending its device's security to next level through surprise updates. Are we going to face a cyber war?

- TO BE CONTINUED


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