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Banks Asked To Update ATM Software To Prevent 'WannaCry' Cyberattack

May 17, 2017, 00:48

"Nor is the NHS the only United Kingdom critical national infrastructure provider that runs on outdated security platforms and operating systems like Windows XP which no longer receive automatic updates and are in need of a refresh", he added "The government knows it has a problem, and has consistently harangued private industry to improve its cybersecurity defences whilst seemingly failing to move quickly enough itself. You can change the locks, but what has happened cannot be undone". The city of Osaka said its home page went blank, although problems had not been detected otherwise.

Microsoft on Sunday said a software vulnerability stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency has affected customers around the world, and described the spread of the WannaCrypt ransomware on Friday in many countries as yet another example of the problems caused by the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments.

"WannaCry" is infecting computers running the older versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems, locking access to files on the computer.

Microsoft's president and top lawyer said Sunday that the ongoing cyberattacks, which experts are calling the largest in history, should be a "wake-up call" for governments - especially the U.S.

The effects were felt around the globe, disrupting computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in nations as diverse as Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, India and the U.S. Britain's National Health Service was hit hard, while Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the U.S. and French carmaker Renault all reported disruptions. Japan, Turkey, and the Philippines were also affected. One did not include the so-called kill switch that allowed researchers to interrupt the malware's spread Friday by diverting it to a dead end on the internet.

Mark Skilton, part- time professor of practice in information systems management and innovation at Warwick Business School, said that Microsoft was right to make its call for joined-up governance. And it has potential to create much more damage because it's likely to be lurking on computers in offices around the world that haven't been used since Friday.

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The ransomware exploits a vulnerability in outdated versions of Microsoft Windows that is particularly problematic for corporations that don't automatically update their systems.

Cybersecurity experts say the unknown hackers who launched this weekend's "ransomware" attacks used a vulnerability that was exposed in NSA documents leaked online. Because numerous computers impacted run older Windows systems like XP, Microsoft issued a rare patch for XP, which it had stopped updating more than three years ago.

"The number of victims appears not to have gone up and so far the situation seems stable in Europe, which is a success", senior spokesman for Europol, Jan Op Gen Oorth, told AFP.

Op Gen Oorth said Monday it was still "a bit early too say who is behind it, but we are working on a decrypting tool".

In China, the malware affected computers at "several" unspecified government departments, the country's Cyberspace Administration said on its WeChat blog Monday.

Microsoft distributed a patch for the software vulnerability two months ago, but not all computer users and networks worldwide had yet made that update, and thus were highly vulnerable.

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