(Adds Putin quotes)
BEIJING May 15 Russian President Vladimir Putin
said on Monday that intelligence services should beware of
creating software that can later be used for malicious means - a
reference to global 'ransomware' attacks that researchers say
exploited a hacking tool built by the U.S. National Security
Speaking to reporters in Beijing, where he is taking part in
a conference, Putin said that there was no significant damage to
Russian institutions, including its banking and healthcare
systems, from the computer worm known as WannaCry.
"But as a whole it is worrying, there's nothing good about
it, it is a source of concern. As regards the source of these
threats, I believe that the leadership of Microsoft have
announced this plainly, that the initial source of the virus is
the intelligence services of the United States," Putin said.
"Once they're let out of the lamp, genies of this kind,
especially those created by intelligence services, can later do
damage to their authors and creators," he added.
"So this question should be discussed immediately on a
serious political level and a defence needs to be worked out
from such phenomena."
Putin said that Russia was not behind the attack.
Around 1,000 computers at the Russian Interior Ministry have
been affected, a spokeswoman for the ministry told Interfax news
agency. A source familiar with the matter said the ministry did
not lose any information in the attacks.
Putin said Russia had last year sought an agreement with the
previous U.S, administration on cooperation in the field of
cyber security, but that Washington had dragged its feet and no
deal was concluded.
In a blog post on Sunday, Microsoft President Brad
Smith appeared to acknowledge what security experts had already
widely concluded: the ransomware attack that hit computers
around the world on Friday leveraged a hacking tool, built by
the NSA, that leaked online in April.
(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing
by Mark Trevelyan)