Microsoft says stockpiling of hacking tools by governments partly to blame for recent attack

Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer has come out today blaming governments’ stockpiling of hacking tools as part of the reason for the recent hack that affected the NHS. WannaCrypt, the ransomware that has hit hundreds of thousands of systems in recent days was crafted based on an exploit developed by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Microsoft President, Brad Smith, said:

The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call. They need to take a different approach and adhere in cyber space to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world. We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits.

Smith has renewed his call for a new Digital Geneva Convention, which would introduce a requirement for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them. Smith said he hopes that the recent attack renews determination for more urgent collective action between the technology sector, customers, and governments against cyber attacks.

WannaCrypt made headlines at the end of the previous working week, but is expected to inflict damage in the upcoming week as unsuspecting victims go back to work on Monday.

Source: The Seattle Times

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