Ransomware attack using Windows flaw known to US spies

A huge ransomware attack hitting dozens of countries has brought Britain’s National Health Service to a near standstill and paralyzed businesses from Madrid to Moscow, reports indicate. The perpetrators are unknown but it is emerging that the attack was possible because of a flaw in Windows software that has been used by the  US Department of Defense National Security Agency (NSA). The flaw was leaked to hackers permitting the massive attack. The CBC says Microsoft, makers of Windows, patched the hole in its software in March. The attack is holding to ransom access to infected computers in exchange for payment for $300 in Bitcoin per victim. It has wreaked chaos on patient care in at least 16 organizations in the U.K.’s National Health Service and is believed to have spread to computers in more than 74 countries, according to security company Kaspersky.  Dozens of countries affected by ransomware cyberattack  Also: Mysterious hacking collective called ‘The Shadow Brokers’ stole NSA superweapon