In one of the biggest in a series of cyber-attacks of the year, computer systems in the capital city of Kiev, Ukraine were attached by cyber terrorist. The attack later spread to other part of Europe and the United States of America. In Kiev, government workers at the old Chernobyl nuclear plant were forced to manually check radiation readings when their computers stopped working. ATMs in the capital city also stopped working. Also systems of the technology department of conglomerates around the world were hit with serious cyber-attacks. Danish company Maersk and American drug company Merck were both seriously affected by the attack.
The current attach has been linked with series of attack facilitated by the theft of hacking tools stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) in April and released on line for hackers to use. The leak led by hackers known as Shadow Brokers has facilitated various cyber-attacks including the “WannaCry” attacks in May. In that attack, just like in this case ransom was demanded for the release of the computer systems. The NSA has however not claimed responsibility for any of the attacks that has crippled system. However, in a statement released by its spokesperson the agency acknowledged that the Homeland security is monitoring the situation.
Much of the blame to the NSA has come from private security firms who have been calling on the security agency to help the rest of the world curb a problem it has created. Golan Ben-Oni, the global chief information officer at IDT, one of the network based company hit by another attack in April said “The N.S.A. needs to take a leadership role in working closely with security and operating system platform vendors such as Apple and Microsoft to address the plague”. Ben-Oni also warned that if appropriate steps are not taken to curb the menace there could be incident of more attacks in the future.
The attack was said to be made possible by vulnerability in Microsoft’s windows. The company had earlier in may provide a patch to fix the problem. However, red tape at various government agencies has stopped the updating of their system.