No, radioactive nuclear material was not involved, no mushroom cloud. But be assured, when computers in
99 150 countries were hit by ransomware, it was the equivalent of a purloined USA atom bomb being put to use by terrorists or mobster terrorists.
We've always feared the possibility of terrorists stealing a nuclear weapon and using it in a terrorist attack. Well, we were right to be concerned about a weapon being stolen and used on a mass scale. We just had the kind of weapon wrong. It ends up it was not a nuclear weapon, it was a digital one.
Yesterday, some group activated a ransomware attack, Called WannaCry, on computers throughout the world. Kaspersky labs, an anti-virus software developer reported that there were more than 45,000 attacks, in 74 countries, mostly in Russia, and that the numbers were probably much higher. Another company, Avast, reported over 75,000 attacks on 99 countries.
This a ransomware attack, where the computer becomes infected, then the ransomware demands money paid in untraceable bitcoins or the computer's data will be destroyed.
Avast, among many others, is tying this massive, perhaps historically unprecedented attack to the theft of a digital toolkit from NSA, saying,
"WanaCrypt0r 2.0 is most likely spreading on so many computers by using an exploit the Equation Group, which is a group that is widely suspected of being tied to the NSA, used for its dirty business. A hacker group called ShadowBrokers has stolen Equation Group's hacking tools and has publicly released them. As confirmed by security researcher, Kafeine, the exploit, known as ETERNALBLUE or MS17-010, was probably used by the cybercriminals behind WanaCrypt0r and is a Windows SMB (Server Message Block, a network file sharing protocol) vulnerability."
Bottom line, NSA failed to protect its weapons assets. That's right. Digital tools, if we hadn't thought of them before that way, are clearly military weapons. Perhaps we haven't thought of them that way because NSA, Obama, Bush Trump, Dianne Feinstein and others have been so happily willing to use them on the American people.
But yesterday it became clear, the danger these tools pose. And it became clear that the American agencies that are supposed to protect the US and the world have totally failed, leading to the massive assault on 99 nations and probably hundreds of thousands of people.
And let's throw in whatever Russia did to the US. It's clear that the USA's leadership-- under Obama and Trump, have totally failed to protect us from digital onslaughts. From my point of view it looks like the Russians are using rockets and the US is still using bows and arrows. The investigations on Russian interference should be subsumed under a bigger investigation that explores the disastrous state of vulnerability the US now finds itself in.
This latest digital nuke disaster happened under Trump's watch. If it were a radioactive nuke, Trump and the leadership of the country would be excoriated. They should be just as strongly held accountable for allowing this digital disaster to occur.