WannaCry Ransomware Threat Prompts US Government Emergency Meetings, Experts Blame NSA

By Michael Augustin , Updated May 16, 2017 08:26 AM EDT
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After the initial salvo of infections, the ransomware known as WannaCry has started to initiate a second wave of attacks that has affected even more countries.
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After the initial salvo of infections, the ransomware known as WannaCry has started to initiate a second wave of attacks that has affected even more countries. The online security breach has prompted the White House to hold emergency meetings with experts. It has been speculated that the NSA was involved in some way that led to the eventual development of the virus.

Experts claim that the WannaCry ransomware was created from some hacking tools available online. The tools were allegedly leaked by a group who call themselves the Shadow Brokers. It appears that one of those tools were developed by the NSA to take advantage of a Windows vulnerability to give them unrestricted access to a computer. Gizmodo confirmed that Microsoft immediately took action when the tools were leaked and released a patch to fix the vulnerability.

However, when the WannaCry ransomware started to attack computers last week it revealed just how many computers were not updated. Over 200,000 victims across 150 countries were infected with the ransomware that crippled their computers. The victims were asked to pay amounts from $300 to $600 in order to gain back access to their files. This potentially places the blame on the NSA for a global chaos that has rendered some important services to shut down until it is resolved.

Cyber security experts claim that ATMs went offline, factories and other manufacturing processes were halted, medical facilities had to turn away patients, and obviously sleepless nights for cyber security experts. New outlets confirm that the US government's Cyber Response Group continues to huddle with Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert. It is suspected that they are discussing the extent of the NSA'a involvement with the WannaCry ransomware.

The WannaCry ransomware attacks are an ideal example of why a collection of vulnerabilities by the US government becomes a problem. The vulnerability exploit stolen from the NSA has obviously caused problems for a lot of people around the world. Users are advised to update their Windows OS on all of their computers to hopefully prevent the spread of the virus, as suggested by Gamenguide.

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