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Global Ransomware Attack: Outbreak Disrupts IT Systems Worldwide
20 May 2017, 02:29 | Megan Pierce
Indian computer systems largely escaped a global ransomware attack as the government and companies installed security patches to gain an upper hand against the first wave of an unrivalled global cyber attack.
Smith's post deflects criticism of Microsoft by noting that the company issued a patch for the vulnerability earlier this year, but many organizations didn't patch older computers.
Friday's attack largely hit businesses and large organizations: United Kingdom hospitals, a Spanish telecom, FedEx, the Russian Interior Ministry, and more.
The director of Europol raised fears that the cyber attack that has hit NHS services and global businesses "will continue to grow" as people return to work after the weekend.
SECURITY OUTFIT Bitdefender has put together a list of best practise tips to help individuals organisations defend themselves against the WannaCry ransomware.
Kaspersky said it was seeking to develop a decryption tool "as soon as possible".
The malware encrypts data on a computer within seconds and then displays a message asking the user to pay a ransom of about R4,000, which is lower than other ransomware we have seen - but the true cost will be all the time, lost files, and other collateral damage caused by this attack.
GSTN, the company set up to provide the IT infrastructure for GST rollout, will not be impacted by the WannaCry ransomware attack as its systems do not run on Microsoft software, its CEO Prakash Kumar said. The pop-up also features two countdown clocks, one showing a three-day deadline before the ransom doubles, another showing a deadline for when the target will lose their data for ever.
It threatens to delete files within seven days if no payment is made.
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"We've seen the extent to which the ransomware, which had its infection rates slowed down over the weekend, now mutated by the cyber crime groups behind it", Rob Wainwright, director of the European Union police agency Europol, told ITV News.
Smith is urging world leaders need to consider following the "same rules applied to weapons in the physical world" for Internet vulnerabilities.
The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center, a nonprofit providing support for computer attacks, said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were reported affected so far. They released the exploits, which means even a novice hacker could use them to cause damage.
The computing giant says the tool used in this current attack had been developed by the US National Security Agency and was stolen by hackers.
The world's biggest cyberattack has hit at least 150 countries and infected 300,000 machines since it started spreading last Friday.
Only a small number of the more than 200,000 estimated victims of the WannCry ransomware attack seemed to have paid the demand based on the publicly available bitcoin accounts where they are instructed to make their payments. Those numbers have reached into the tens, and even hundreds, of millions. Those include a known and highly risky security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn't apply Microsoft's March software fix, and malware created to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks.
President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith released an open letter asking governments to treat this as a "wake-up call". Smith wrote, "As a technology company, we at Microsoft have the first responsibility to address these issues".
"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 griped. He says that when the NSA lost control of the software behind the cyberattack, it was like "the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".
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