Americans who use outdated versions of Microsoft Windows on their personal and work computers may be in danger of a “wormable” defect that could cause “devastating” and “wide-ranging impacts” according to a cybersecurity advisory from the National Security Agency.
This comes on the heels of a ransomware attack on the city of Baltimore which disrupted some municipal services. The attack was believed to have originated with spyware stolen from the NSA.
Following many warnings by Microsoft leaders, the NSA is warning users who have unpatched versions of Windows on their devices to make sure any cyber holes are able to keep out malicious actors from penetrating individuals’ devices and wreak havoc on their systems.
Why the NSA is choosing now to warn the general public about the possible risk to their cyber networks can be chalked up to threat intelligence held by the NSA proving that bad actors are using the Microsoft defects against their own cyber networks, not that of the general public.
It’s your fault, a National Security Agency official says to the city of Baltimore about the ransomware attack that has disrupted city services. The unknown hackers, who have demanded $100,000 in bitcoin, are using software stolen from NSA. The agency’s response: we warned Baltimore two years ago and they didn’t patch their network.
A hacking tool developed by the US National Security Agency is now being used to shut down American cities and towns, says a Saturday report in The New York Times. Code-named EternalBlue, the hacking exploit involves malicious software and was leaked in 2017 by a group called Shadow Brokers. Hackers used the tool that same year in the worldwide WannaCry ransomware attacks, which locked up computer systems at hospitals, banks and phone companies and required a ransom to set the networks free. It was also used in the 2017 NotPetya assault against Ukraine, which has been called one of the most destructive cyberattacks ever.
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