Ransomware cyber-attack a wake-up call

May 20, 2017

It was a security flaw that was originally exploited by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), which was then leaked earlier this year.

Governments and computer experts girded Monday for a possible worsening of the global cyberattack that has hit more than 150 countries, as Microsoft warned against stockpiling vulnerabilities like the one at the heart of the crisis. It pointed out that these holes routinely get leaked as in the case of Central Intelligence Agency hacks showing up on WikiLeaks and the above NSA-related instance.

Once they know you’ll pay, they’ll know others will too.

Microsoft also recommends running its free anti-virus software for Windows.

Microsoft said it had released a Windows security update in March to tackle the problem involved in the latest attack, but many users were yet to run it.

On affected computers, the WannaCry software encrypts files and displays a ransom message demanding $300 in bitcoin. “MeitY has informed AP government, to follow the CERT-In advisory”.

Managers at many companies and other organizations have not taken steps to put proper cybersecurity systems in place despite talking about their importance, Gazeley said. He adds that governments should report vulnerabilities like the one at the center of the WannaCry attack. Europol said Monday that “very few” people have paid the ransom.

“If your software is not patched, you can exploit that user”.

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the broad scope of NSA surveillance in 2013, tweeted, “If @NSAGov had privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they *found* it, not when they lost it, this may not have happened”.

Experts said it appeared that the ransomware had made just over $32,000, although they expected that number to pop when people went back into the office Monday. It came out two months before the very first iPod. Smith says there’s a real risk that criminals will steal them. “No matter how this was disclosed or when it was disclosed, some percentage of businesses would not have applied”.

After updating all desktop computers, keep in mind to apply the same security patch and Windows Update to corporate laptops. Those facilities are not unique. The official would not identify which systems but said no federal government entities were hit. So when Windows asks you whether you want to get the latest security patch, don’t click “later”.

Microsoft even had to create a new patch for Windows XP, an operating system it hasn’t supported since 2014.

Jonathan Sander, chief technology officer for STEALTHbits Technologies, called WannaCry “a Frankenstein’s monster of vulnerabilities with patches and exploits that were stolen from the NSA and published for all to see”.

Researchers say this type of ransomware will continue.

The warning was echoed by Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre: “As a new working week begins it is likely, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, that further cases of ransomware may come to light, possibly at a significant scale”.

Chinese state media have reported that police departments in some major cities had suspended some non-emergency services, though it was not clear whether the ransomware threat was to blame in all cases.

Global extortion cyberattack hits dozens of nations


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