'WannaCry' ransomware attack: What we know

May 18, 2017, 00:20
'WannaCry' ransomware attack: What we know

The infection was spread due to a security vulnerability that Microsoft didn't know about, but the National Security Agency did. A top Russian mobile operator said Friday it had come under cyberattacks that appeared similar to those that have crippled some United Kingdom ho.

"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", Smith wrote. And while Microsoft said it had already released a security update to patch the vulnerability one month earlier, the sequence of events fed speculation that the NSA hadn't told the USA tech giant about the security risk until after it had been stolen.

Chief information and digital officer Peter Knight said the Trust was aware of the attack but that its security systems had held up against it.

The company's top lawyer said the government should report weaknesses they discover to software companies rather than seek to exploit them.

A global cyber-security firm, Avast, reported over the weekend that more than 57,000 attacks have been detected so far.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that takes over a computer and locks the user out, preventing them from accessing any files until they pay money.

It said Sunday that a similar cyberattack could also recur, though it did not have "specific evidence" of this. He's being a bit unrealistic - it's not so simple for companies to upgrade to the latest versions of Windows, especially if budgets are tight or there's must-have software that could break.

Another government security official said no government systems were affected. The attack froze computers at hospitals across the country, with some cancelling all routine procedures.

Economic experts offered differing views on how much the attack, and associated computer outages, would cost businesses and governments. And while other attackers might use the same flaw, such attacks will be steadily less successful as organizations patch it.

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Other malware attacks do impact Apple computers while phones are "becoming more susceptible", he said.

His concerns were echoed by James Clapper, former director of national intelligence under President Barack Obama.

"This most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today - nation-state action and organized criminal action", he added.

He said it was too early to say who is behind the onslaught and what their motivation was.

Organizations around the world are bracing themselves for more outbreaks of Wannacry ransomware infections after the malware began unleashing itself on computer systems on Friday.

Chinese media are reporting that the global "ransomware" virus attacked many university networks in China. It is reported that WannaCry, and variants of it, have hit organisations in 99 countries.

In the case of WannaCry, the program encrypts your files and demands payment in bitcoin in order to regain access.

The fact is that a cache of cyber weapons was said to have been stolen from the NSA by the same collective behind the WannaCry ransomware that created the biggest-ever extortion racket to hit the Internet. It crippled the British health care system for a day, infecting almost 20 percent of its health care groups, forcing medical treatments to be canceled or postponed for thousands of people. Industry experts said the UAE was lease affected because the ransomware attack peaked on a non-working day in the country.

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