An anonymous troll used a series of bitcoin transactions to rickroll the Shadow Brokers. The Shadow Brokers are the group that recently hacked the NSA associated threat actor, the Equation Group. The Shadow Brokers are auctioning stolen NSA surveillance tools, which includes zero day exploits.

It is the bitcoin address that the Shadow Group is demanding payment on that got trolled. The details of all bitcoin transactions are available publicly, to track the blockchain. The blockchain is the underlying technology that facilitates bitcoin transactions. On August 17, between 6:12 and 6:14 pm local time, someone made a series of transactions to the Shadow Brokers. The transactions were of 0.001337 BTC (Roughly Rs 50) each. The numbers spell out a stylised version of the word “elite”, which is kind of like rubbing salt in an open wound.

transactions_shadow_brokers

There have been a total of 26 transactions to the account so far, and the there is 1.72303178 Bitcoin located at the Bitcoin address. This is roughly Rs 66,203. The current highest bidder told Motherboard, that they don’t believe anything will come out of the attempted transaction. While the Shadow Brokers have released a dump of tools that security researchers are increasingly believing are actual tools used by the Equation Group, there are sparse details available to what is up for sale in the actual auction.

The series transactions spell out the lyrics of the Rick Astley song, Never Gonna Give You Up. The prankster had to make the transactions in reverse order for the rickroll to read out the right way in the blockchain. Rickrolling is a form of trolling where the lyrics to the song, or the music video, is delivered to unsuspecting targets in innovative ways. This may be a simple bait and switch, where a story or headline links to the music video. It may also be an elaborate hack that takes down an entire service, like when this teenager broke Vine with a Rickroll.

Publish date: August 19, 2016 2:02 pm| Modified date: August 19, 2016 2:09 pm

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