Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Thomas Heylen via Flickr CC

A new leak about the National Security Agency suggests that the NSA targeted banks and financial systems in the Middle East, and has compromised the anti-money laundering firm EastNets' Dubai office, according to an AP report. That would give the NSA access to financial transactions throughout the region.

Who: TheShadowBrokers, a hacker or group of hackers, facilitated the leak. The files dumped indicate whoever is behind the leak has access to more data than previously known. No one knows who is behind the leaks, but Motherboard's 2016 analysis of the language used indicates it is an English-speaker. Cybersecurity expert James Bamford speculated in a Reuters op-ed that it is likely a disgruntled intelligence agent. As Forbes puts it: "If so, that's a ticking bomb waiting to go off for the NSA."

Edward Snowden weighed in: Snowden's take on the leak, in two tweets: "[I]t's nowhere near the full library [of Top NSA Tools], but there's still so...much here that NSA should be able to instantly identify where this set came from and how they lost it. If they can't, it's a scandal."

What's in the leak:

  • A list of servers the NSA allegedly targeted in the Middle East
  • A password for the encrypted files the group originally leaked in 2016
  • PowerPoint slides
  • "TOAST," the framework used to erase the NSA's server logs to clear its tracks
  • The files leaked, labeled "TOP SECRET," deal with Swift Alliance Access (SAA) systems, which are used by banks to make transactions
  • The files reveal the NSA likely also targeted older Windows computers, indicating the targets were using outdated Windows versions

Why now? TheShadowBrokers authored a Medium post addressed to Trump, entitled "Don't Forget Your Base," indicating disappointment with leadership. The opener is quite a shot: "Respectfully, what the f**k are you doing?" The group dumped the documents and access passwords Saturday after no one paid the requested $7,070,300 in bitcoin for the leak.

Note: The AP reports the leak could not be independently verified, but the group's previous leaks of NSA hacking tools have been corroborated by leaks from Snowden.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
5 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.