“There’s a blame game brewing over who’s responsible for the massive cyberattack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers,” Dina Bass reports for Bloomberg. “Microsoft Corp. is pointing its finger at the U.S. government, while some experts say the software giant is accountable too.”

“The attack started Friday and has affected computers in more than 150 countries, including severe disruptions at Britain’s National Health Service. The hack used a technique purportedly stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency to target Microsoft’s Windows operating system,” Bass reports. “It effectively takes the computer hostage and demands a $300 ransom, to be paid in 72 hours with bitcoin.”

“Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith blamed the NSA’s practice of developing hacking methods to use against the U.S. government’s own enemies. The problem is that once those vulnerabilities become public, they can be used by others,” Bass reports. “In 2014, Microsoft ended support for the highly popular Windows XP… Security patches would be available for clients with older machines, but only if they paid for custom support agreements.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Pay a ransom to the feckless Microsoft or pay a ransom to hackers or finally smarten up, stop paying The Microsoft Tax, and get a Mac.

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The Microsoft Tax: Widespread attacks exploit Internet Explorer flaw; Macintosh unaffected – January 22, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Windows 7 zero-day flaw enables attackers to cripple PCs; Macintosh unaffected – November 16, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows 7 flaw allows attackers to remotely crash PCs; Macintosh unaffected – November 12, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows virus delivers child porn to PCs, users go to jail; Mac users unaffected – November 09, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Worms infest Windows PCs worldwide; Mac users unaffected – November 02, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Banking Trojan horse steals money from Windows sufferers; Mac users unaffected – September 30, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Serious Windows security flaw lets hackers to take over PCs; Macintosh unaffected – July 07, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows Conficker worm hits hospital devices; Macintosh unaffected – April 29, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Conficker virus begins to attack Windows PCs; Macintosh unaffected – April 27, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Conficker’s estimated economic cost: $9.1 billion – April 24, 2009