The New York Times: Hacks Raise Fear Over US NSA’s Hold on Cyberweapons

US National Security Agency cyberweapons have been used against Britain and the Ukraine before spreading to other computers around the globe. The agency – charged with securing US information systems – is the largest of 17 intelligence agencies that combined had a budget of about $70 billion in 2015. The NSA has long declined to answer questions. “But the silence is wearing thin for victims of the assaults, as a series of escalating attacks using N.S.A. cyberweapons have hit hospitals, a nuclear site and American businesses,” report Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger for the New York Times. “Now there is growing concern that United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands.” The weapons, relying on vulnerabilities in common software, were put up for sale in August before being made public: Suspects include North Korea for the WannaCry ransomware and Russia hackers for the Ukraine attack. Internet shutdowns disrupt communications, finance, satellites, operation of infrastructure and utilities including nuclear power plants, and any entity that depends on ready access to data. Former CIA director Leon Panetta is candid: “I’m not sure we understand the full capability of what can happen.” The article’s commenters suggest that that government and industry use secrecy to cover their own failings rather than protect the public. – YaleGlobal

The New York Times: Hacks Raise Fear Over US NSA’s Hold on Cyberweapons

US National Security Agency stays mum about whether it has any control over its stolen cyberweapons that inflict collateral damage worldwide
Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger
Friday, June 30, 2017
© 2017 The New York Times Company

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