There was no one clear point of origin for the reported attacks. Real said they “principally” came from the US, UK, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and even Ecuador. There don’t appear to have been any attempts (successful, at least) to delete or steal data.
Ecuador was considered Assange’s closest ally under former President Rafael Correa, who granted asylum to the WikiLeaks founder in his country’s London embassy and rejected the UK’s claims that it had authority to arrest Assange on embassy grounds. All that changed when Ecuador elected Moreno, however. He saw Assange as an “inherited problem,” and the embassy gradually curbed his internet access along with other privileges. The threat of expulsion had been lingering for nearly a year before Ecuador permitted Assange’s arrest. In that light, cyberattacks wouldn’t be surprising — Assange’s supporters have been bracing themselves for this possibility for years.
The vulnerability affects Windows 7, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
This wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t for the disclosure of the flaw. Page posted details of the exploit after Microsoft reportedly declined to roll out an urgent security fix. It instead said a fix would be “considered” in a future release. While that does suggest a patch is on the way, it leaves millions of users potentially vulnerable unless they either turn off Internet Explorer or point to another app that can open MHT files.
The US Justice Department just officially charged Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, shortly after he was removed from the Ecuador embassy in London and arrested by local police. The charge is “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified US government computer.” It’s the same allegation that was made in the Chelsea Manning trial in 2013 — but not that Assange has had his asylum revoked by the Ecuadorian government and has been arrested, he can finally be extradited to the US to face these charges.