WannaCry Ransomware: Microsoft Calls Out NSA For ‘Stockpiling’ Vulnerabilities

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like “the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen,” Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.

“This is an emerging pattern in 2017,” Smith, who is also chief legal officer, says in a Microsoft company blog post. “We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world. Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage.”

On affected computers, the WannaCry software encrypts files and displays a ransom message demanding $300 in bitcoin. It has attacked hundreds of thousands of computers, security experts say, from hospital systems in the U.K. and a telecom company in Spain to universities and large companies in Asia. And the software is already inspiring imitators, as the Bleeping Computer site reports…. continue reading

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