US intelligence services are responsible for WannaCry cyber attacks

9:04:00 AM

Retrieved on Russia Insider

A hand is silhouetted in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in Berlin May 21, 2013.  
REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

The ransomware that hit computers across the world could backfire on its creators, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Beijing, adding that the implications of the global hack attack need to be discussed on a political level. The ransomware was apparently developed in the US, Putin said. “Microsoft’s management has made it clear that the virus originated from US intelligence services,” the Russian president stressed. Putin added that launching cyber-viruses is “lifting a lid” that "could backfire on those who developed and created them," including intelligence agencies. The ransomware attack that affected thousands of computers all across the globe should encourage the international community to tackle cybersecurity on “the highest political level,” he added. Last year, Moscow proposed discussing cybersecurity threats with Washington with the aim of drafting a bilateral agreement, but to no effect. “Unfortunately, they refused our proposal,” Putin said. “The previous administration told us they were interested in reaching back to this proposal again, but nothing was actually done,” he explained.


Though the attack did not significantly affect Russia’s cyber infrastructure or the systems used by its banks and healthcare facilities, it is an issue of concern, Putin noted. The outbreak of the virus, dubbed WannaCry, began last Friday. According to some cybersecurity experts, it is based on an NSA-developed tool that was leaked to the public by a group called Shadow Brokers. The virus, which is ravaging computer networks worldwide, encrypts user files and demands a ransom in cryptocurrency Bitcoin to release them. Microsoft, which has criticized the American spy agency for its alleged role in creating the situation, released a patch for its no longer supported Windows XP operating system to prevent computers still running it from being infected. The tech company patched a vulnerability in its newer supported software last month after the leak was made public, but operating systems that were not updated are still vulnerable.

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