WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The top US and UK electronic intelligence and communications-monitoring agencies secretly created cyber attacks programs including the one now inflicting havoc around the world, National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower William Binney told Sputnik.
"The NSA/CIA/FBI/GCHQ [UK General Communications Headquarters] have been using short sighted finite thinking to try to keep all these cyber attack programs secret so they could use [them]," Binney said on Monday. "They left us all vulnerable while they looked into what everyone was doing."
Binney, a veteran US government cryptanalyst was commenting on Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith’s comments on Sunday when he accused the NSA for its role in weaponizing a weakness in Windows which was then stolen by hackers and used in history’s largest ransomware attack.
"Smith is saying what I've been saying for some years now," Binney stated.
The "WannaCry" computer virus attack has crippled computers around the world and continues to spread, defying the efforts of companies, governments and security experts to contain it. The virus exploits a vulnerability in the Windows operating system that the NSA had discovered. The vulnerability was then accessed and stolen by hackers and published online.
"Since they have no monopoly on smart people nor is their security perfect, this means sooner or later these attacks will be known to the general population. Consequence, the current world-wide computer attacks that we see," he explained.
Binney predicted that the NSA and other US intelligence agencies would try and take advantage of their own negligence and incompetence to try and squeeze even vaster budgets out of the US Congress.
"Now, of course, these IC [intelligence community] agencies are going to come to Congress and ask for more money for cyber security — a clear swindle of taxpayers since they could have fixed these weaknesses in the network years ago," he said.
The US intelligence agencies could and should have acted more responsibly to work with companies to repair and eliminate cyber weaknesses when they found them, Binney pointed out.
"It would be different if they only kept secret weaknesses in potential foreign adversaries private, government and military networks and fixed all the rest. But, that would not have given them the ability to coerce Congress for more money," he said.
Europol, the main European police agency warned on Sunday that the computer virus had reached computers and 100,000 organizations in at least 150 countries
William Binney is a cryptanalyst and mathematician and for 30 years he was a senior analyst at the NSA, where he was regarded as one of the best in the agency’s history before he exposed major aspects of its blanket surveillance programs.