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Microsoft on virus Wannacry: cybersecurity is a shared responsibility of tech sector, customers and governments

Rome, Italy - For the President of the company Brad Smith the cyber attack that from Friday hit more than 200.000 computers shall be a wake-up call for everybody

After the cyber-attack that starting from last Friday brought down computer systems worldwide, with more than 200.000 devices -among which hospitals, businesses, governments and home computers- being affected by the virus "WannaCry" or "WannaCrypt", the President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft Brad Smith commented the occurrence in a long blog that was published on the website of the company. The ransomware that stopped the machines and asked for the payment of a "ransom" to allow access to documents and stop the threatened deletion of files, in fact used as it was reported a bug in the Microsoft Windows operating systems which was found by the US National Security Agency (NSA) from whom the information was later stolen. Brad Smith made clear that on March 14 -a month before that the theft was reported- Microsoft released a security update to patch the vulnerability and to protect its customers. Therefore what happened shall be a "wake-up" for everybody: security cannot be any longer exclusively demanded to tech companies -Smith specified that Microsoft has more than 3500 security engineers, that it is assisting in these days also all those people who are still using obsolete operating systems, and that in the future it will continue to study more and more efficient solutions for protecting IT environments-, but the cooperation of users is also necessary. The computer which were affected by the ransomware had not been updated for some time already and so this attack must be a warning to users to regularly do all available updated for their systems. Smith specified that "Wannacrypt" must be a "wake-up call" also for government agencies that stockpile sensitive informations and that more than once were not able to protect them, putting at risk information networks all over the world. He made a strong comparison: a theft of critical data could be compared in a scenery with conventional weapons to some Tomahawk missiles being stolen. Smith hopes that the government would not "stockpile, sell or exploit" these vulnerabilities but rather report them to vendors and for this reason he repeated the importance of a new "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern these issues.

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