Microsoft has hit out at the US government’s “stockpiling” of cyber weapons for facilitating attacks such as the WannaCry ransomware that has run rampant in recent days.
“The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, wrote in a strongly worded blog post on Sunday afternoon.
In its statement, Microsoft for the first time confirmed publicly what security analysts and intelligence officials would only say in private: that the technique hackers used to distribute WannaCry was originally developed by, and later stolen from, the US National Security Agency.
“This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem,” Mr Smith wrote, referencing the disclosure of apparent exploits used by the CIA by WikiLeaks.
“Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage,” he said. “An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.”<-->纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com<-->
While the leaked NSA tools were not used to create the ransomware itself, they did help hackers to accelerate its distribution, creating havoc for organisations around the world.
Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower who is wanted in the US for leaking thousands of classified documents, called Microsoft’s comments “extraordinary”.
“Until this weekends attack, Microsoft declined to officially confirm this, as US Gov refused to confirm or deny this was their exploit,” he said in a tweet.