Tags: mike morell | ransomware | attack | criminals

Ex-CIA Chief Mike Morell: Ransomware Attack Appears Launched by Criminals

("CBS This Morning")

By    |   Monday, 15 May 2017 08:08 AM

A massive cyberattack that hit 150 countries and more than 200,000 users over the weekend appears to be the work of organized crime rather than through a nation state, former deputy CIA Director Michael Morell said Monday morning.

"I think it is cybercrime, and the fact that they are demanding ransom in order to free up the data that they are encrypting, I think that's what underscores that," Morell told "CBS This Morning."

The attacks came in the form of a ransomware worm called WannaCry, which disrupted operations at hospitals, factories, schools and more.

On a blog post Sunday, Microsoft President Brad Smith said the ransomware attack leveraged a National Security Agency hacking tool that leaked online in April, and blamed the U.S. government for not disclosing that there are vulnerabilities with software.

"We have never seen a cyberattack with this kind of breadth," Morell said. "The second thing is sophistication. There are two pieces of this. One was basic attacks to get inside networks — that happens every day. The second piece was lateral movement inside of a network once you are inside. It spreads rapidly and that's very unusual and very frightening."

The United States did not fare as badly as other countries, said Morell, and that is because "our side of security is better than any other place in the world."

In addition, in the United States, more entities use up-to-date versions of Microsoft than are in use in other countries, where in some places, "the versions are very old and cannot be patched," said Morrell.

In addition, in many places, pirated versions of Microsoft are being used, which can't be patched with security guards.

Morell also discussed North Korea's Sunday missile test, saying he's not sure that the launch was a "game changer," even though President Kim Jong Un and North Korea claimed the missile was capable of carrying a large-scale nuclear warhead.

"You have to be careful of taking the North Koreans at face value," said Morell. "They made claims in the past that are not true. Their missile development is accelerating and not slowing and not going to stop.

"They're willing to sit down and negotiate with us. They're not willing to give up weapons or their missiles."

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A massive cyberattack that hit 150 countries and more than 200,000 users over the weekend appears to be the work of organized crime rather than through a nation state, former deputy CIA Director Michael Morell said Monday morning.
mike morell, ransomware, attack, criminals
375
2017-08-15
Monday, 15 May 2017 08:08 AM
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