In August, as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were battling for the White House, a hacker group called ‘Shadow Brokers‘ released classified NSA hacking instruments.
Then they laid claim they weren’t in league with Moscow. To some, that same assertion now looks silly.
On April 8, 2017, the group published password to the hacking tools and encrypted files. The post transparently stated the piece was in response to Trump’s attack on a Syrian airfield which was also used by Russian troops.
Following the missile attack the group wrote on Medium.com :
“Respectfully, what the f*** are you doing?”
“The Shadow Brokers chose you,” the post continues. “The Shadow Brokers support you and we’re out faith in you is slipping. You’re abandoning your base, the movement and the people who got you elected,” the group said.
The post takes a distinct tone compared to what they took when former-President Obama was in office. According to the Daily Beast, when the consortium said they were releasing the hacked NSA tools for money, not political reasons, they wanted $600 million for the key to access encrypted files.
The high price tag, including the refinement of the hack, made it appear they weren’t cyber criminals seeking to make a few dollars but rather Putin surrogates.
Apparently out of retirement following Trump’s bombing of Syria, The Kremlin, with Iran, backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. America supports some — but not all — Syrian rebels and makes the situation very complicated.
Now that the Shadow Brokers have released the encrypted files at no cost, the entire hackers-for-money scheme seems unlikely.
While claiming not to be Russian, they did leave a message for Trump on Medium. They argued that Trump’s supporters:
- Don’t worry if you exchanged spouses with Mr. Putin, double down and say, “Putin is not merely my friend; he is my BFF.”
- Don’t care if it was a rigged election. They celebrate with an ‘so what if I did’ mindset; what are you going to do concerning it?”
The Medium post ends up with a note of hope:
“The Shadow Brokers hope you are the real deal and that you take-to-heart this constructive criticism toward #MAGA. Some Americans consider us to be traitors. We disagree,” they said.