Russia blames US intelligence for code used in ‘WannaCry’

World Today

Russian President Vladimir Putin blames U.S. intelligence agencies for the ‘WannaCry’ computer virus. He insists that cyber criminals used tools invented by America cyber-agents.

Russia was among the nations hit hardest by the virus, according to experts in Moscow.

CGTN’s Daria Bondarchuk is there with more on the cyber-attack.

Russia blames US intelligence for code used in ‘WannaCry’

Moscow blames Washington's intelligence agencies for code to strengthen ransomware

As reports of thousands of computers infected by the “WannaCry” virus poured in from countries in Asia, some critics pointed the finger at the U.S. intelligence agencies.

In a blog post, Microsoft’s CEO Brad Smith slammed the U.S. National Security Agency for allowing hackers to steal technology exploiting computer vulnerabilities – later used by cyber criminals. He equaled the incident to “having a Tomahawk missile stolen.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, on a visit to China, also criticized the U.S. intelligence agencies for losing control over their own creation. “We are fully aware that the genies, in particular, those created by secret services, may harm their own authors and creators, should they be let out of the bottle,” said the Russian president.

Vladimir Putin also said that the country’s computer infrastructure has not suffered serious damage. Yet, Russian media reported that the Interior Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Investigative Committee were affected.

Some Russian mobile companies and Russian railroads’ servers and websites reportedly also experienced a short-term disruption. Government agencies acted quickly to isolate and block the virus.

Local cyber security experts say this latest attack was just a start.

“Given the criminals have only raised some $40 thousand, which is very little for ransomware, I think it was just a test of the NSA tools stolen earlier this year and their effectiveness,” Aleksey Lukatsky, a cyber specialist at Cisco Solutions said.

Though programmers managed to slow down the virus over the weekend, cyber criminals have reportedly cracked their code. And further after-shocks cannot be ruled out, especially in Russia, where many companies run on outdated software.

While cyber security experts work on an effective antidote to the recent virus, questions over who was behind the unprecedented attack – and whether governments across the globe can avert similar crimes in the future – remain unanswered.