Lawmakers seek briefings after report that NSA tool was used in Baltimore ransomware attack

Lawmakers seek briefings after report that NSA tool was used in Baltimore ransomware attack


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U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger are seeking briefings from the National Security Agency after a report that a spying tool developed by the agency and then leaked online was used to spread the ransomware that has debilitated Baltimore’s computer systems.


And Council President Brandon Scott said the federal government should step in to cover some of the cost of Baltimore’s recovery.


The New York Times reported Saturday that hackers used a tool known as EternalBlue to spread the ransomware through the city’s systems. The Times cited anonymous security experts briefed on the case.


Ruppersberger, a Democrat whose district includes part of Baltimore, has previously raised concerns about the dangers posed by EternalBlue and other leaked tools — part of a huge cache posted online in 2017 by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers — and says more needs to be done to counter them.


“If recent media reports regarding the origins of the Baltimore ransomware attack are true, the congressman’s concerns are further validated,” said Jaime Lennon, a spokeswoman for Ruppersberger. “We will be seeking a full briefing from NSA regarding these reports.”


While the tools have been widely linked to the U.S. spy agency, and experts and former government employees have said they appear to be authentic, U.S. officials have never acknowledged the connection.


Van Hollen, a Democrat, said in a statement that he had be ..