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Microsoft Claims To Have Patched Shadow Broker-Exposed Windows Flaws

18 April, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
  • Microsoft Claims To Have Patched Shadow Broker-Exposed Windows Flaws

It appears that though most of the exploits target older Windows versions, dating back as early as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, but many supported versions are still on the list, including Windows 7 and Windows 8. Some of the records bear NSA seals, but Reuters could not confirm their authenticity.

The Shadow Brokers, a group of anonymous hackers had published hacking tools used by the NSA previous year. This could suggest that the NSA, or even individuals from another hacking group, may have given Microsoft the heads up.

"It is by far the most powerful cache of exploits ever released", cyber security expert Matthew Hickey told Ars Technica, a technology news outlet.

The document dump - which is mostly lines of computer code - amounts to an emergency for Microsoft because the hacks consist of a variety of "zero-day exploits" that can serve to infiltrate Windows machines for purposes of espionage, vandalism, or document theft. Three of the NSA exploits, which Microsoft indexes as MS17-010, CVE-2017-0146, and CVE-2017-0147, have not been patched but do not work on programs that Microsoft now supports, according to Ars Technica.

Since Microsoft fixed one of the flaws only last month, it's possible that The Shadow Brokers tools may represent NSA tools deemed useful for national security purposes. This would normally mean either that Microsoft somehow found (or purchased) all the vulnerabilities The Shadow Brokers were auctioning off, or perhaps that someone anonymously alerted Microsoft about the bugs. Desktop users who allow auto-updates or who regularly check for updates on their computers should be covered.

"EastNets continues to guarantee the complete safety and security of its customers' data with the highest levels of protection from its Swift-certified service bureau". SWIFT stated that there was no indication that their main network had been accessed by unauthorized users.


Microsoft said three exploits don't reproduce on "supported platforms", meaning people should upgrade to Windows 7 or a newer version.

Microsoft's response comes after exaggerated concerns from a number of security researchers.

Among the leaked arsenal there is ExplodingCan, which creates a remote backdoor by exploiting the Windows web server Internet Information Services on older versions of the OS.

Do note, Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista will no longer receive these patches as they have crossed their end of support dates.

Due to the detailed description of service bureau infrastructure in the Shadow Brokers documents, Suiche believes the leak could be harmful to the SWIFT network. "ETERNALCHAMPION", a SMBv1 exploit, was patched by Windows updates CVE-2017-0146 & CVE-2017-0147.

On Friday, Microsoft also said it was still studying the leak, and it "will take the necessary actions to protect our customers".

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