The mysterious hacker group Shadow Brokers that made headlines after leaking advanced NSA hacking tools, has announced its retirement. The hacker group said it was "going dark", but not before leaking Windows hacking tools freely to the public, likely inflaming the US intelligence community.
The hacker group was quoted as saying: "So long, farewell peoples. TheShadowBrokers is going dark, making exit. Continuing is being much risk and bullshit, not many bitcoins. TheShadowBrokers is deleting accounts and moving on so don't be trying communications. Despite theories, it always being about bitcoins for TheShadowBrokers. Free dumps and bullshit political talk was being for marketing attention. There being no bitcoins in free dumps and giveaways."
The Shadow Brokers' announcement comes after the group recently advertised a sale of alleged Windows-specific hacking tools. Cybersecurity firm Heimdal Security, which has been tracking the hacker group's actvites, told IBTimes UK: "One key differentiator between this sale and the previous ones is that the Shadow Brokers have adjusted their pricing, and by that we mean that they lowered the price. Also, they gave up on the auction-style sale they tried the last time."
However, it now appears that the sale failed to garner much attention from buyers. "One of the main reasons behind the lack of follow through from potential buyers is the price," a spokesperson for Heimdal explained. "Previous sales have included overpriced tools, which have caused potential buyers to lose interest."
The group, however, has not completely abandoned hopes of selling the stolen NSA cyberweapons. In their message, the Shadow Brokers said they will still keep open their offer to sell a batch of Windows hacking tools for 750 bitcoins.
A security researcher going by the pseudonym Hacker Fantastic told Motherboard that he was attempting to access some of the encrypted files dumped by the Shadow Brokers.
The group also publicly released an archive with 58 Windows hacking tools, currently already detected by Kaspersky antivirus, which can be downloaded from their website. "Password is F**kTheWorld Is being final f**k you, you should have been believing TheShadowBrokers," the hacker group said.
"This farewell message is kind of a burn-it-to-the-ground moment," Jake Williams, a malware expert and founder of Rendition Infosec, told ArsTechnica, adding that speculation of the hacker group's ties to Russia would "make sense".
"Given the inauguration [of Donald Trump] happens in a short time [from now]. If that narrative is correct and Shadow Brokers is Russian, they wouldn't be able to release those tools after Trump takes office. If you roll with that narrative, [the burn-it-to-the-ground theory] certainly works," Williams said.