Retired U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, president and CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity, has said the government and private sector must work together to fight cyber threats and de-risk security tools that intelligence agencies use against enemies following a ransomware attack that has affected systems worldwide, TechCrunch reported Wednesday.
The former National Security Agency director talked about the global “WannaCry” attack at the TechCrunch Disrupt forum held Tuesday in New York amid reports that the ransomware leveraged an NSA exploit that leaked on the internet.
Europol reported the virus infected computers of at least 200,000 individuals in more than 150 countries Friday.
“NSA didn’t use the WannaCry, criminals did –- someone stole it,” said Alexander, an inductee into Executive Mosaic‘s Wash100 for 2017.
He added the agency uses “capabilities” to determine adversarial activities and that he believes it should not release all the exploits the agency uncovers.
Alexander, who also previously served as chief of the Central Security Service and first commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, noted that Microsoft released a patch in March for Windows security products.
“How do you make sure that those things go out? And is there a way that government and industry can work together so that those things are done seamlessly,” he told audience at the TechCrunch Disrupt event.
“The answer’s yes.”