|By Kramer Phillips | 3 years ago|
A global cyber attack has caused chaos around the world.
The cyber attack is reported to have been carried out with tools widely believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency.
The tools were leaked online by a group called the Shadow Brokers.
The Russian government, British hospitals, German railways and big corporations like FedEx were among those affected by the attack on Friday.
The affected organizations were crippled by the ‘ransomware’ which swiftly spread around the globe, and which infected tens of thousands of computers in a reported 99 countries.
According to security experts, the malicious software behind the carnage appeared to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows, which had been identified by the NSA for its intelligence-gathering activities.
The National Security Agency documents were stolen and then released to the public last month by the mysterious group, Shadow Brokers.
Security experts said that the hackers – who have not yet claimed responsibility for the attack – probably made it a ‘worm,’ or a self-spread malware, by exploiting Eternal Blue, which is a piece of NASA hardware.
Shadow Brokers released Eternal Blue last month as part of a trove of hacking tools they said belonged to the NSA.
The group has raised fears that the spy agency’s cyber weapons had been compromised and repurposed by hackers with shady intentions.
The malware was blocking access to computers and demanding payments of as much as $600 to restore access and scrambling data.
The attack is thought to have affected approximately 75,000 computers, including ones owned by the Russian government.
Russia is believed to have been one of the most affected, amid reports that 1,000 computers in the country’s Interior Ministry were affected, but sources say that no information was compromised.
According to ministry spokesperson Irina Volk, they had “recorded a virus attack on the ministry’s personal computers controlled by a Windows operating system.”
Tens of thousands of victims have now been recorded in 99 countries including the US, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Mexico.