US and European officials scrambled to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that caused damage across the globe over the weekend, stopping car factories, hospitals, shops and schools, as Microsoft pinned blame on governments for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities.
The attack, which leveraged malicious software that security researchers widely believe was stolen from the US National Security Agency,
is the latest example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said in a blog post.
"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call," Smith wrote. "We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits."
Cyber security experts said the spread of the virus dubbed WannaCry - "ransomware," which locked up more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries - had slowed but that the respite might only be brief amid fears it could cause new havoc on Monday when employees return to work.