RantCrush Top 5: May 15, 2017
Welcome to RantCrush Top 5, where we take you through today’s top five controversial stories in the world of law and policy. Who’s ranting and raving right now? Check it out below:
On Friday, an unprecedented cyber attack hit an estimated 230,000 computers in 150 countries. And experts warn this is far from over. The hackers spread ransomware called “WannaCry” through email links, which encrypted content on computers until the user paid a ransom in bitcoins. The software was developed using software exploits identified by the NSA, which came to light after a theft at the agency was reported earlier this year. Last month, Microsoft released an update that would have protected against this particular malware, but the affected computers hadn’t updated their systems. Now Microsoft is criticizing government agencies for knowing about software flaws and keeping them secret.
— The Times of London (@thetimes) May 15, 2017
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief counsel, basically blamed agencies like the NSA for the attack, and said they should inform companies and vendors when they learn about a vulnerability so they can cooperate and find a solution. He also compared the Wikileaks release of U.S. agencies’ spy techniques earlier this year to theft of physical weapons. “An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen,” he said.