BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As computer experts frantically fight an international cyber attack, people turning on their computers for the start of the work week are vulnerable.
Hackers are using stolen NSA tools in a massive attack on 150 countries.
Now, they’re trickling down to individual computers across the globe, including computers in Maryland.
Computer users across the world are powering on the next wave of a global cyber attack.
“We may still see significant impacts in additional networks, as these malware attacks morph and change,” says Cyber Security Adviser Tom Bossert.
On Monday, the White House promised a fight against the Ransomware attack on 300,000 computers in 150-countries. Security analysts are calling it the largest ever
The attack first ravaged Britain’s hospital systems and then spreading globally.
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger represents the cyber security capital of the world — Maryland’s second district and home to the National Security Agency.
“Cyber attacks can shut down grid systems. They can shut down airplanes. They can do so much damage,” he says.
Hackers targeted the NSA last week are using stolen documents to create the malware program “Wanna Cry,” crippling computers locally and internationally.
The only warning is a frozen computer screen. Then, hackers demand $300 to decode files, encrypted by the virus. If they’re not paid, the files get destroyed.
It’s an invisible and unstoppable attack, and the kind Congressman Ruppersberger has fought in congress for more than a decade and is backing legislation to unite businesses and government agencies against hackers.
The White House says a partnership is in full effect right now to stop a spiraling cyber crime.
“We have a long way to go as far as our sophistication in what we need to do in order to put together a plan and a system for cyber security,” says Congressman Ruppersberger.
The White House says despite the number of computers hit, hackers have only taken about $70,000 dollars.
Today Russian president Vladimir Putin putt the blame on U.S. Intelligence agencies, echoing the President of Microsoft, who said the NSA and CIA stockpiled software code that can be used by hackers.