As the City of Baltimore continues to struggle with the effects of the recent Robinhood ransomware attack that crippled their systems, the New York Times reports that the tool used to execute the attack relied on the EternalBlue exploits created by the National Security Agency.
The NSA lost control of EternalBlue back in 2017, and since then, hackers from Russia, North Korea and China have used it to wreak havoc across the world.
The National Security Agency still refuses to discuss or acknowledge the loss of its tool, that showed up online back in April of 2017 with the Shadow Brokers claiming credit for the leak.
Thomas Rid, a cybersecurity expert at Johns Hopkins University, called the Shadow Brokers leak “the most destructive and costly N.S.A. breach in history,”
“The government has refused to take responsibility, or even to answer the most basic questions,” Mr. Rid said. “Congressional oversight appears to be failing. The American people deserve an answer.”
The NSA being at fault does not absolve the local and state governments from failing to patch known vulnerabilities that are actively being exploited in the wild. That being said, the federal government should probably provide some form of restitution to the local governments effected, and the National Security Agency also needs to provide direct support and boots on the ground in the City of Baltimore. They should be taking larger steps towards mitigating the risk, at a national level, presented by the tools that they developed and then lost control of. I have to say, I agree with Jacob Williams here.
“The weaponization of these tools by malicious actors poses a significant risk to the U.S., our allies and the American private sector,” – Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger
Today, Baltimore remains handicapped as city officials refuse to pay, though workarounds have restored some services.