Saturday, May 13, 2017

Dozens of countries hit by hacks using stolen NSA tools.

Courtesy of the New York Times: 

Hackers exploiting malicious software stolen from the National Security Agency executed damaging cyberattacks on Friday that hit dozens of countries worldwide, forcing Britain’s public health system to send patients away, freezing computers at Russia’s Interior Ministry and wreaking havoc on tens of thousands of computers elsewhere. 

The attacks amounted to an audacious global blackmail attempt spread by the internet and underscored the vulnerabilities of the digital age. 

Transmitted via email, the malicious software locked British hospitals out of their computer systems and demanded ransom before users could be let back in — with a threat that data would be destroyed if the demands were not met. 

By late Friday the attacks had spread to more than 74 countries, according to security firms tracking the spread. Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, said Russia was the worst-hit, followed by Ukraine, India and Taiwan. Reports of attacks also came from Latin America and Africa. 

The attacks appeared to be the largest ransomware assault on record, but the scope of the damage was hard to measure. It was not clear if victims were paying the ransom, which began at about $300 to unlock individual computers, or even if those who did pay would regain access to their data. 

Finally this hack was stopped by a British blogger who triggered a "kill switch" and essentially turned it off.

Of course Edward Snowden was quick to jump in and blame the whole thing on the NSA.
However let me point out once again that many of these hacks are directly related to the NSA tools that Snowden smuggled out of the country and which ended up in the hands of the Russians.

I know that there are still some Snowden apologists who refuse to believe he is not a hero, but the evidence of his crimes are all around us.

Snowden took sensitive data from the intelligence agency designed to protect America, and let it fall into the hands of those who want to cause harm to America, and other countries as well. 

And Hollywood even made a fucking movie about him.


  1. From the article: Transmitted via email, the malicious software locked …

    Yet people continue to open emails sent to them in HTML, as if it were a sane and sensible thing to do. My plaintext mail program may not have the same flashy appeal as one that interprets HTML, but it doesn't execute other people's commands for them either, which I consider a plus.

    1. Anonymous1:41 PM

      My Yahoo email uses up all my bandwidth opening its videos instead of my emails, it's barely functional any more. I rarely get any emails of consequence, so it's no loss.

  2. Initially, I thought Assange was OK but not Snowden. Since Assange was an Australian, he couldn't be considered a traitor. Snowden could. He deliberately moved to positions where he could access classified tools. He violated his security clearance. Now, I see both men as Russian assets. Although I don't want a repeat of McCarthyism, I do wonder how far the rot has spread.

    1. Anonymous1:36 PM

      Assange has been a rude shock to a lot of people. Perhaps he has gone insane, how could anyone tell?

      But anyone paying attention back in 2008 (or perhaps long before) would have known that the phone and internet activity of not just the US but almost 100% of other countries was being monitored and recorded by the US. It was exposed in 2008 in a book called The Shadow Factory, by James Bamford, so it's hard to understand how everyone thought Snowden had revealed something earth-shattering and it's hard to understand why people Angela Merkel trusted that the Americans weren't spying on her.

      Take it as given, you are never alone on your computer.

    2. Anonymous1:46 PM



  3. Leland12:22 PM

    I am s-o-o-o-o looking forward to the loud twitter screaming Humpty Trumpty is going to release onto the Dutch government about the documentary they produced and broadcast. Even if NOT true, and they apologize, he will STILL rant and scream!

    Maybe it will cause him to get so angry he will spontaneously combust!

  4. O/T but explosive

  5. Anonymous12:23 PM

    Global Underground Network is up!
    Haha.. well good luck with it!

  6. Anonymous1:09 PM

    As a long time nurse, it is scary that hospitals can come to a standstill almost. Non of the new nurses know what to do when the system goes down. Not enough of us old timers to keep the place running. You replace us with 3 younger people. Good luck with that.

  7. Anonymous1:11 PM

    They hacked my sisters accounting firm. Ransom goes up $300 per day. They've got their files back now. Still working on emails.Theyre reporting a tech found the kill switch by accident. It kept showing some weird long Web address that when typed in never went anywhere.Tech went in and registered that address and it was the kill switch. Microsoft has come out with a patch for it. What a nightmare.

    1. Anonymous5:03 PM

      I got a long list of fixes from Microsoft- a couple for XP and the rest for Windows 8. There were none for Windows 7 (which I use) and Windows 10, so I guess those people got lucky.

  8. Anonymous1:18 PM


    Obama blocked this controversial Alaskan gold mine (Pebble). Trump just gave it new life.

    1. Anonymous7:13 PM

      This entire country has mining. Have your water supply checked. It more than likely has arsenic at high levels. It will cause all sorts of health issues if not cancer. Seriously we have a water issue in this country due to mining either past or present. Trump wants to put miners back to work to kill off as many humans and pets as possible. We don't need mining for any reason but Russia does. Trumps friends want to frack and drill in your back yard, in national parks, on state land in protected lands. That is what this election scam is all about.

  9. Anonymous1:25 PM

    Snowden has a point. Just down the road from me there's a laboratory where all the world's most dangerous and contagious bacteria and viruses are housed in a very secure facility. But the Black Plague won't be escaping any time soon because there are protocols in place to prevent potential sabotage.

    The NSA created dangerous cyber bacteria and viruses and failed to keep them secure. People will die in the UK, where major public hospitals are still running Windows XP, which many of you used years ago and many of you will know is no longer supported by Microsoft (which is why WE no longer use it). The Right-wing British government hasn't seen fit to fund the updating of hospitals' operating systems therefore many major hospitals have been infected and cannot function.

    I've never thought much of the NSA and this certainly doesn't change my opinion.

  10. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Another of putins little pets. Snowden is bad history and he and his family should pay the price for his treason. He is a little boy kept in Russia forever unless America takes him.

  11. Edward Snowden has been a traitor from day one.

    This and worse to come can all be laid at his door.

  12. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Putin owns snowden forever and ever.


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