The massive and prolonged cyber attack that caused bedlam across the globe on Friday was caused by hacking tools that are believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency and were stolen and then shared online it was alleged today.
The Russian Government, German Railway Companies, FedEx and British hospitals all experienced major problems with their computer systems due to this attack which is reported to have affected companies and organisations in 74 different countries worldwide.
As computer security experts were called in urgently across the global is was revealed that the malicious software exploited a major vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system, and that piece of software has it has been reported been identified as one stolen from the US National Security Agency who developed it and used it for their own security and intelligence gathering purposes.
Whilst no one group have yet claimed responsibility for the cyber attack it is thought that someone managed to make the software into a worm, which is a self spreading piece of malware that could and did quickly spread across many different worldwide computer systems and caused computers to lock up and flash up messages demanding a ransom to be paid to allow uses to be able to use their computers again.
Only last month a group known as the Shadow Broker released a huge array of different hacking tools online all of which they claimed had been designed and used by the US spy agency, and this has caused more companies and organisations to become worried that this cyber attack is not going to be a one off event.
The list of countries affected by this Ransomware attack continues to grow and overnight additional countries were added to the very growing list of places that were experiencing problems including but not limited to the US, Australia, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany and Mexico.
It has also been reported that the virus has been spreading across the internet via email at a rate of 5 million emails per hour, and as much everyone need to be aware of that fact and pay careful attention when they receive any emails, especially those with attachments or links inserted into them, even if you believe them to be from a reliable and trusted source.
Anyone who has been affected by this attack should not under any circumstances pay the ransom demand, for even if you do there will be no guarantees that your system will then become open and fully operational again, for you are after all dealing with criminals when paying such a demand, which is usually required to be paid in Bitcoin due to the anonymous nature of that digital currency!