The real roots of the worldwide ransomware outbreak: Militarism and greed

Source: The Intercept
by Sam Biddle

“The NSA did not create WannaCry. Rather, it discovered weaknesses in various versions of Windows and wrote programs that would allow American spies to penetrate computers running Microsoft’s operating system, and it was one of these programs, codenamed ETERNALBLUE and repurposed by still-unidentified hackers, that allowed WannaCry to spread as quickly and uncontrollably as it did last week. Whether or not you think the causal chain is such that the NSA is in some sense morally responsible, it’s undeniable that without the agency’s work, there is no ETERNALBLUE, and without ETERNALBLUE, there is no May 2017 WannaCry Crisis. In this sense, Microsoft is right–but the blame shouldn’t end there. Microsoft also did not create WannaCry. But it did create something something nearly as bad: Windows Vista, an operating system so horrendously bloated, broken, and altogether unpleasant to use that many PC users back in 2007 skipped upgrading altogether, opting instead to stick with the outdated Windows XP, a decision that has left many people on that decade-and-a-half-old operating system even today, years after Microsoft stopped updating it.” (05/16/17)