The hacking group Shadow Brokers has guaranteed to unleash additional zero-day exploits that will be a lot like WannaCry – an infamous ransomware that has attacked nearly 300,000 people around the world. And Shadow Brokers don’t just want to cause anarchy and bring some ruckus, they would also very much like to earn top dollar, and they plan to do that by offering subscription to the very special club. The price for joining it is, without any exaggeration, staggering, as those who will want to become a part of the elite circle that has access to all the latest viruses will have to pay more than $22,000 USD for it.
This information became public several weeks ago and the group has now released additional details on their scheme. If you want to be the lucky participant, you need to sign up for the monthly subscription model named “Wine of Month Club”. This will provide you with new exploits each month and the process will begin in June. To subscribe, you’ll have to transfer 100ZEC (Zcash) to a certain address and also provide an email address in the encrypted memo field. You’ll then get a confirmation email and the first leak in the form of a link and password will be sent out to every subscriber between July 1 and 17.
What is Zcash, you may ask? Well, it’s a digital currency that guarantees more privacy than that provided by Bitcoin. But, of course, anything can happen, and Shadow Brokers definitely can’t be held responsible if your money mysteriously get lost along the way. But they also say that you shouldn’t even enter their club if losing more than $20,000 USD is a big problem for you, so it’s not like they don’t care about their potential recruits. Moreover, they want to see OEMs, governments, hackers, security companies, and high rollers among them.
Shadow Brokers also plan to keep the upcoming leaks secret. In their own words, it’s mostly a matter of whether they can afford not being the first to get access to the dump. The good news is, if, for example, the revealed vulnerability will put the safety of Windows at risk, Microsoft can obtain the leak first and start working on the patch immediately, preventing potential disaster. Security companies can follow that route too, so it’s not like the Internet will become a place where viruses await around every corner. Still, those news are definitely alarming and companies and users shouldn’t just depend on luck.
We also need to mention that a Patreon page was set up by a group of security researchers to raise the necessary funds and be ready for the first leak. Those researchers are Matthew Hickey, Xorz, Nicholas Weaver, and Tim Strazzere and they wanted to do that to prevent another outbreak similar to WannaCry.
Unfortunately, due to legal concerns, they had to abandon their intentions and shut down the project. So, as of now, the situation remains threatening and only time will show what will happen next. Still, it’s not all doom and gloom, as security companies are always on the lookout for solutions to viruses and they don’t just sit around and wait for them to ruin everything. We advise you to keep your antivirus software updated and running, avoid suspicious pages while browsing the Internet, and be careful with your downloads, especially when it comes to software cracks. It’s very common for cybercriminals to disguise their creations as something useful, so you should always scan the files. If you do that, the chances of your computer being infiltrated by something that shouldn’t be on it will be significantly reduced.