What Can we Learn from the UK NHS Cyber Attack?
As you might of heard, a cyber attack recently occurred against the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and many other computer systems around the world. What you might not have heard was that it was made possible by two NSA backdoors that were leaked in the passed year. There is alot to be learned from the tragic attack. Not only can the British government use the lessons, but the people and officials of the United States.
Government Agencies Are Inefficient
Government agencies are inefficient, what’s new about that? This attack specifically targeted older computer systems that used operating systems that had reached their end of life. Specifically for this backdoor, Windows XP. For those who are less tech savy, that means that Microsoft stopped creating security patches for the operating system. So not only was the UK’s NHS not using the latest security measures to protect their systems, many other global government agencies weren’t as well. This is scary and it should be a wake up call. There are many other agencies besides the UK’s NHS that use outdated systems. Imagine what havoc could have been wreaked if the hackers got to nuclear powerplants or other vital infrastructure systems.
Don’t Brush It off, It Will Happen Again
As the subheading suggests, this will happen again. The knee-jerk reaction is to brush it off because a cyber attack happens every couple of months. It’s also assumed that the security backdoor will be magically “fixed” when in reality it won’t. Government officials have no clue when it comes to technological advancements and they’ve made it pretty clear. Technology changes faster then the government can account for. If and when this happens again, the government should be held accountable for the damages.
This Could Have Been Prevented
The cyber attack could have been easily prevented. Former NSA subcontractor and whistle-blower, Edward Snowden suggested that the NSA knew about their security leaks and did nothing about it. While it is almost impossible to remove something from the internet once it has been put on there, the NSA could have communicated with their foreign counterparts alerting them of the backdoors.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 12, 2017
The Cyber Attack Shouldn’t Have Happened
As we’ve suggested, the cyber attack shouldn’t have happened in the first place. If the NSA had never created the backdoors then they would have never been leaked and subsequently people wouldn’t be able to use them for nefarious purposes.
The real question that should be asked after this debacle is why can one government agency lose top-secret information and or tools and not be held accountable for it? Another question is why was it created in the first place? Were they planning to use it? This debacle is strange and has a lot of questions to go along with it. We can only hope it never happens again or if it does that each party responsible for it is held accountable.