Opinion

'WannaCry' attack: Was North Korea trying to send a message?

To the editor: The purpose of the recent ransomware attack that appears to have emanated from North Korea was clearly not to extort a few thousand dollars from the victims. One possibility is that it was a threat, letting the world know that North Korea has the power to hold computer systems and economies hostage if they cross dictator Kim Jong Un. (“North Korea: A land of few computers and many hackers,” May 16)

A scarier possibility is that this was a test, to see whether it is possible to prevent retaliation in kind, by disabling communication and control systems in the event of a nuclear first strike by North Korea.

Either way, all countries, and the U.S. in particular, need to develop plans to protect themselves from cyberterrorism. Now that North Korean missiles may be capable of reaching Alaska, the matter is urgent.

Eleanor Egan, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: As an IT guy, I clean up the messes others make. But why should our tax dollars go to a National Security Agency that hides system vulnerabilities from us and Microsoft because it thinks it can wreak havoc on only the bad guys?

The “WannaCry” malware got nowhere with my clients’ PCs because they paid extra for protection from just this sort of threat.

Not fair. Not smart. Not sustainable.

Dan Henrickson, Los Angeles

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