Microsoft president Brad Smith has slammed governments around the world over their inadequate cyber defence policies. Smith’s comments come in the wake of the massive ransomware attack that caused damage to the NHS and other major public and private organisations across the world, this weekend.
The Microsoft president said it should be a much-awaited ‘wake-up call’ for governments as, security officials attempt to find who was behind the attack which affected around 200,000 computer users, closed factories, disrupted hospitals and interrupted schools across the globe.
“The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call,” Smith wrote on the company’s blog. “We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits. An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.”
The ransomware threat is likely to claim more victims today, as people head back to work. Cyber security experts said the spread of the virus dubbed WannaCry had slowed but that the respite might only be brief amid fears it could cause new havoc on Monday when employees return to work. “It’s going to be big, but it’s too early to say how much it’s going to cost because we still don’t know the magnitude of the attacks,” said security expert Mark Weatherford.
The NSA is widely believed to have developed the hacking tool that was leaked and used for the ransomware attack.
Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organisations that have not been upgraded with the latest security patches. The head of the European Union police agency said that the cyber assault has so far hit 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries. and that number would grow when people return to work on Monday.