Even his staunchest admirers must have noticed that ex-NSA employee Edward Snowden did not offer any technical expertise via his Twitter account on this week-ends spread of the WannaCry ransomware. »The true HOOHA« Snowden who lives since he fled his native USA for Moscow to live under the auspices of Russian domestic spy service FSB, fired one tweet after the other towards his former employer, the National Security Agency (NSA), in which he put the sole blame for this most recent ransomware incident on the NSA.
One should expect that someone, who is on other occasions called a technical or IT expert, and who pretends whenever possible to be most concerned with the security and privacy of users would at least offer the most obvious advice:
1/ Patch your stuff.
– @ErrataRob, 12.05.2017
Not so Snowden. In his 12 tweets on the WannaCry diffusion which had been sent from his account he mentioned the NSA 11 times, 10 of which he even @-mentioned them, to let them know that they:
- compromise the lifes of patients
- compromise Western (sic!) software (what an odd thing to say for someone who pretends to be US-born and not an FSB agent with English language skills, especially when a good portion of the infected machines is in Russia)
- need to be questioned by congress to find out whether other software in »our« (back into character?) hospitals are at risk
- destroy the internet
- are to blame for ransomware
- empower low-level criminals to mount nation state-level attacks
Six of those 12 tweets centred around the emotionally most unsettling scenario which was the disturbance of hospital operations in the UK. That the affected hospitals were, as it stands, predominantly British, and that auto makers such as Renault and Dacia were also affected as well as the Russian ministry of the interior, German railway operator Deutsche Bahn or logistics company FedEx was of no interest to Snowden. That is not technical expertise. That is full fledged agitprop.
Genuine experts independent of Putin on the other hand pointed to the importance of software updates, the availability of up-to-date, verified backups, the containment of risks, and the fact that the update processes with some critical infrastructures need to be improved.
Politics for Putin is what is left
So while actual security experts asked questions on how to prevent a similar situation in the future the most well-known FSB asset, Edward Snowden, did what he was granted asylum for in Russia in the first place: politics for Putin.
That alone would not be a problem: quite a few Westerners, mostly men, like Gérard Depardieu, Marine Le Pen, Steven Segal, and the German AfD-party are doing the bidding of Russia's macho-autocrat Putin. What is sad is that Snowden's talking points are parroted by some German quality publications and »internet activists« almost word by word.
Süddeutsche Zeitung ran with the headline that this »global cyber attack« went to show how »risky the work of the secret services« was. In the same article »internet activist« Katharina Nocun is quoted with saying the intelligence agencies were complicit in »putting hospitals at risk«.
To say it with a word by KGB general Ivan Agayants in 1965: »if they did not have press freedom, we would have to invent it for them«.