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19 May 2017, 10:31 | Megan Pierce
Microsoft has also launched updates for windows XP and Windows server 2003, which is very unusual as these operating systems are the most outdated and are more prone to attack.
To the editor: If Microsoft were a auto company and released a defective product, there would be mandatory recalls of almost 20-year-old systems and millions of dollars in fines. That's when the NSA toldMicrosoft about the vulnerability, and the company issued a security update to fix the flaw.
"We need to make it as easy as we can for people to patch their systems, and then customers have to apply those patches", Smith says. This is good and practical advice, but it is insufficient at a time when cyberattacks are evolving fast and new means of attack are constantly emerging. "This particular case - as the media showed - they had the ability in the Microsoft operating system, and Microsoft actually came up with a patch in March".
It also expressed fear that figure of affected computers and countries is likely to grow with time especially "as people use their computers if their IT has not been updated and their security systems patched over the weekend".
Terming such cyber-attacks as a shared responsibility between tech companies and customers, the tech giant said, so many computers remained vulnerable even two months after the release of a patch.
The Inquirer reported that in May 2015, the United Kingdom government - whose health services were affected by WannaCry - would not renew its Windows XP support agreement with Microsoft. As reports say, the vulnerabilities, developed by National Security Agency were leaked to the internet, following which the cyber crooks succeeded in hacking millions of computers across the world. The ransomware campaign was unprecedented in scale according to Europol, which estimates that around 200,000 computers were infected across 150 countries.
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Following the detection of the WannaCry attack on Friday, "researchers at Proofpoint discovered a new attack linked to WannaCry called Adylkuzz", said Nicolas Godier, a researcher at the computer security firm. One sourcesuggests that more than 10% of all desktop PCs run Windows XP, and a significant portion of those victims will likely be small businesses.
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According to cyber expert Akshay Bajpayi, the attackers are targeting the government departments to demand the high amount of money in digital currency Bitcoin. "We believe the recent ransomware attack could accelerate the Windows upgrade cycle for enterprises".
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WannaCry Ransomware Attack: Here Everything you need to Know
What versions of Windows are affected? The only real security from ransomware is backups and solid security best practices. The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about Dollars 300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device.