Microsoft's president blames NSA for WannaCry attack

"As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems".

According to him, Microsoft will assess the WannaCrypt ransomware attack, apply the lessons from it to strengthen its capabilities, and shares the lessons with law enforcement agencies, governments, and customers worldwide.

Europol senior spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth told AFP Monday: "The number of victims appears not to have gone up and so far the situation seems stable in Europe, which is a success". "We've seen that the slowdown of the infection rate over Friday night, after a temporary fix around it, has now been overcome by a second variation the criminals have released".

WannaCry, the software that crippled hospital systems, factories, banks, government agencies and transportation systems in 150 countries, is ransomware.

A top Microsoft executive partly blamed the United States government for the WannaCry ransomware attack, saying hackers found a crucial Windows vulnerability in data that had been stockpiled by the NSA.

The malicious software used in the attack, which has the ability to automatically spread across large networks by exploiting a known bug in Microsoft's Windows operating system, was stolen from the US National Security Agency. The company mainly ended support for the aging operating system in 2014.

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"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said in a blog post on Sunday, comparing the recent leaks of NSA and Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools to, in the real world, the theft of cruise missiles.

Microsoft legal chief Brad Smith says governments should share software vulnerabilities with vendors instead of keeping them secret.

Microsoft said the hack was derived from an exploit developed by the NSA that was stolen and leaked to the public earlier this year. An investigation is on-going regarding how the codes got out. "We are in the second wave", said Matthieu Suiche of Comae Technologies.

He predicted that new, mutated variants of the global virus will continue to pop up at an alarming rate. "We can surely expect more".

Magid added that there should be more cooperation to prevent future attacks: "There needs to be better sharing of information between government and the private sector, especially tech companies, and obviously people need to be educated".

In China, the education sector was hit the hardest, 15 percent of their reported attacks were at universities and educational institutions, according to KTBS.

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