WannaCry Changes Intelligence Community Calculus

By Daniel Hoffman

Daniel Hoffman is a former senior officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served as a three-time station chief and a senior executive Clandestine Services officer. Hoffman also led large-scale HUMINT (human intelligence gathering) and technical programs and his assignments included tours of duty in the former Soviet Union, Europe, and war zones in the Middle East and South Asia. Hoffman also served as director of the CIA Middle East and North Africa Division. He is currently a national security analyst with Fox News.

The worldwide WannaCry ransomware, which targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, was an admonition to everyone who connects to cyberspace – especially the U.S. intelligence community. 

WannaCry was only the most recent example in a long line of high-profile cyber attacks that demonstrated how the timely application of proper technical tools – including patching, firewalls, and backups – is a basic first step for reducing vulnerable attack space. Microsoft issued a “critical patch” almost two months before the attack and a full month before the hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers leaked the EternalBlue exploit tool.

“The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

Access all of The Cipher Brief’s national security-focused expert insight by becoming a Cipher Brief Subscriber+ Member.


Related Articles

How Safe Would We Be Without Section 702?

SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW — A provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that has generated controversy around fears of the potential for abuse has proven to be crucial […] More