Major cyber attack hits companies, hospitals, schools worldwide| Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-security-hospitals-idUSKBN18820S
Private security firms identified the ransomware as a new variant of "WannaCry" that had the ability to automatically spread across large networks by exploiting a known bug in Microsoft's Windows operating system. "Once it gets in and starts moving across the infrastructure, there is no way to stop it,"
said Adam Meyers, a researcher with cyber security firm CrowdStrike.
The hackers, who have not come forward to claim responsibility or otherwise been identified, likely made it a "worm," or self spreading malware, by exploiting a piece of NSA code known as "Eternal Blue"
that was released last month by a group known as the Shadow Brokers
, researchers with several private cyber security firms said.
"This is one of the largest global ransomware attacks the cyber community has ever seen," said Rich Barger, director of threat research with Splunk, one of the firms that linked WannaCry to the NSA.
The Shadow Brokers released Eternal Blue as part of a trove of hacking tools that they said belonged to the U.S. spy agency.