Government Activates Response Mechanism To Prevent Cyber Attack

Joanna Estrada
May 20, 2017

Experts are advising infected users not to pay the ransom because it is unlikely they will get their files back.

This attack type may evolve over time, so any additional defense-in-depth strategies will provide additional protections.

British cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley doesn't want to blame the NSA for the attack.

Windows 10 users are unaffected by the attack, and numerous operating systems affected are no longer supported.

Europol said Saturday that the attack was of an "unprecedented level and requires worldwide investigation".

Microsoft's top lawyer is laying some of the blame at the feet of the USA government.

"There are other criminals who've launched this attack, and they are ultimately responsible for this", he said. "It's a big priority of mine that we protect the financial infrastructure", he said.

The ransomware is targeting computers (laptops, desktops, phones, tablets) that use Microsoft Windows. The exploit was leaked last month as part of a trove of NSA spy tools.

Then, there were users who failed to quickly update their software after Microsoft released a fix in March.

You need to know what version of Windows you are running to get the proper patch - an add-on piece of computer code to upgrade and improve software, in this case the Windows operating system.

"Whenever there is a new patch, there is a risk in applying the patch and a risk in not applying the patch", Grobman said. Researchers recorded infections in tens of thousands of machines, and Europol estimated Sunday that the attack had spread to about 150 countries. "Most folks that have paid up appear to have paid the initial $300 in the first few hours".

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.

Meanwhile the spread of WannaCry has been slowed down somewhat after a security researcher registered one of the domain names mentioned in the program's code, the Guardian reports.

As a matter of fact, WannaCry 2.0 has already been released, so this is not over. The NHS said in a statement on Saturday that there was no evidence that patient information had been compromised.

More than 320 public IP addresses in ROmania were affected by the WannaCry ransomware virus, with a lot of them being in Bucharest (94) and Iasi (38), according to data from the Romanian National Computer Security Incident Response Team CERT-RO.

Gas stations: State-run media in China reported that some gas stations saw their digital payment systems shut down, forcing customers to bring cash.

"Global internet security has reached a moment of emergency", Qihoo360 warned.

Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at Gartner, agreed that the government is "is negligent not doing a better job protecting companies", but added that it's not like "you can stop the US government from developing cybertools" that then work as intended.

In the U.S., FedEx Corp. reported that its Windows computers were "experiencing interference" from malware, but wouldn't say if it had been hit by ransomware.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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