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giftedviz.com May 27, 2017


Microsoft to NSA: WannaCry is your fault

20 May 2017, 01:26 | Megan Pierce

FACTBOX: What is the 'ransomware' WannaCry worm?

Huge cyberattack forces Microsoft to offer free tech fix

In a blog post, released by Microsoft on Sunday, they called the attack a "wake-up call" and identified "nation-state action and organised criminal action" as "the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today".

According to Microsoft itself, numerous companies that were infected with WannaCry were either using outdated Windows OS versions or were sticking with Windows XP, which is practically considered a fossil at this point. Dharmais Hospital and Harapan Kita Hospital in Jakarta, 16 plus hospitals in the United Kingdom were forced to stop work. Here in the U.S. FedEx Corp. was hit with the cyber-attack, while in Russian Federation the Interior Ministry was held ransom and in Spain, company Telefonica got hit.

The ransomware in question, WannaCry, relies on a hole in the Windows 10 code which Microsoft issued a patch on March 14.

"Using outdated versions of Windows that are no longer supported raises a lot of questions", said Christopher Dore, a lawyer specializing in digital privacy law at Edelson PC. So even people with older computers should go update them. The company offered another patch on Friday for older operating systems, including Windows XP. Yes, I know that I have preached that there are instances where it is better to wait and see if a patch is going to break your system as Microsoft has released broken updates, but that timeline is in days and weeks, not months. Install all Windows updates. 5. Tips include updating software regularly; using anti-virus software; regularly backing up data; never clicking on unknown attachments, banners or links; consulting your anti-virus provider on instructions for removing the infection; and never paying out any money.

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Back up your data on an offline hard drive. And while the hackers haven't made the fortune they may have envisioned, cybersecutiry companies have - as of Monday morning, cybersecurity stocks saw a major boost.

On Friday, a security researcher inadvertently created a "kill switch" to help stop the spread of this ransomware. Asking people to not "pay a ransomware ransom", police said doing so will fuel the ransomware economy.

Officials across the globe scrambled to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that disrupted operations at vehicle factories, hospitals, shops and schools, while Microsoft pinned blame on the U.S. government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities.

While the NSA has not commented on either the WannaCry attack or Microsoft's response, Tom Bossert, President Trump's Homeland Security advisor discussed at Monday's daily White House press briefing that the infection rate has been relatively low in the US compared to overseas infection rates, and that no federal systems have been compromised.



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