Diving headfirst into a thorny policy debate, Microsoft says governments are partly to blame for the “WannaCrypt” -- or “WannaCry” -- wordwide cyberattacks.
“The WannaCrypt exploits used in the attack were drawn from the exploits stolen from the National Security Agency, or NSA, in the United States,” Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer, accuses in a new blog post.
“This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem,” according to Smith.
Even before the WannaCrypt disaster, Smith said he and his colleagues had already seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks.
“Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage,” Smith added.
“The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call. They need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world,” he said.
Since late last week, the WannaCry cyber scourge has blocked customers the world over from accessing their data — unless they paid a ransom using Bitcoin.
Trying to stem the spread of this so-called “ransomware,” Smith said that Microsoft has been working night and day to address the problem. “This included a decision to take additional steps to assist users with older systems that are no longer supported,” Smith notes.
Presently, the software giant has roughly 3,500 security engineers, by Smith count.
These ranks work with law enforcement agencies and governments around the globe through Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center and Digital Crimes Unit.