Hackers Hit Dozens of Countries Exploiting Stolen N.S.A. Tool By NICOLE PERLROTH and DAVID E. SANGER MAY 12, 2017


Ambulance staff at a National Health Service hospital in London on Friday. Several hospitals across Britain were hit by a large-scale cyberattack, causing failures to computer systems. Andy Rain/European Pressphoto Agency

SAN FRANCISCO — Hackers exploiting malicious software stolen from the National Security Agency executed damaging cyberattacks on Friday that hit dozens of countries worldwide, forcing Britain’s public health system to send patients away, freezing computers at Russia’s Interior Ministry and wreaking havoc on tens of thousands of computers elsewhere.

The attacks amounted to an audacious global blackmail attempt spread by the internet and underscored the vulnerabilities of the digital age.

Transmitted via email, the malicious software locked British hospitals out of their computer systems and demanded ransom before users could be let back in — with a threat that data would be destroyed if the demands were not met.

By late Friday the attacks had spread to more than 74 countries, according to security firms tracking the spread. Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, saidRussia was the worst-hit, followed by Ukraine, India and Taiwan. Reports of attacks also came from Latin America and Africa.

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  1. Pingback: National Security Nightmare – Energy Management

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