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Vietnamese Gov't issues warnings against WannaCry ransomware ransomware
20 May 2017, 03:16 | Megan Pierce
While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cleared that it has advised the banks to operate their ATMs only after a software update with a security patch to protect them from such cyber attacks in future, it did not see any bank data being encrypted by the WannaCry Ransomware in any of the major banks in India.
Microsoft has issued a blistering attack on the USA government after a software vulnerability stockpiled by the National Security Agency (NSA) paralysed NHS hospitals and thousands of other organisations around the world.
"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", Smith wrote. "This is an emerging pattern in 2017", Smith said in a statement.
"Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage".
"Had the NSA not waited until our enemies already had this exploit to tell Microsoft, [so that] Microsoft could begin the patch cycle, we would have had years to prepare hospital networks for this attack rather than a month or two, which is what we actually ended up with", he added.
Smith went on to describe the situation as the equivalent of U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles getting stolen from military stockpiles.
Brad Smith, Microsoft's Chief Legal Officer, said the latest global cyber attack suggested that governments are taking a wrongheaded approach to the issue.
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When it comes to Windows, most firms are using XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10. But successive generations of the operating system have been found wanting. While this protected newer Windows systems and computers that had enabled Windows Update to apply this latest update, many computers remained unpatched globally.
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.
As for Microsoft, some intelligence agency experts questioned its NSA criticism, saying it's unreasonable for the company to ask governments to stop using its products as a way to attack and monitor enemies.
He said, "The attack that has been developing over the weekend has highlighted the fact that IT should be at the forefront of operations planning in any large organisation such as the NHS". Because it spreads through file-sharing technology built into the Windows software that powers most of the world's PCs, and because people are slow to update their computers, it's likely we'll be feeling the reverberations of this attack for some time. "Many people installed the patches and others did not, and that was the main problem".
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Frenchman claims cure for WannaCry-infected computers
The ransomware will specifically scan for unpatched machines that have the Server Message Block vulnerability exposed. The WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack has hit more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday, Europol says.
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