Why WannaCry ransomware attack is a win-win for Microsoft

Joanna Estrada
May 22, 2017

The malware behind WannaCry was nicked from the NSA in April.

The world is still under the shock from the recent WannaCry attack.

"The problem is that there are a lot of Windows computers out there that either don't have automatic updates enabled or are so outdated that Microsoft has stopped providing security updates altogether", Vox said.

Apple's Mac computers were not targeted by this ransomware attack so are clear.

The U.K. government's cyber office put it succinctly: "T$3 he way these attacks work means that compromises of machines and networks that have already occurred may not yet have been detected, and that existing infections from the malware can spread within networks".

WannaCry exploits a Windows vulnerability codenamed EternalBlue, which has been patched by Microsoft in an update deployed on March 14. Further, the assessment or analysis will assist with the development and implementation of a Security Incident Response Plan that is created to ensure expedient and appropriate responses to cyber-attacks and to mitigate damage whenever possible.

In response, then life sciences minister George Freeman said: "We are working with suppliers, including Microsoft, to help health and care organisations update their systems and make sure they are safe to use and store data".

But a programme and its source code under public scrutiny can identify the loopholes in the system and patch immediately before crackers exploit that vulnerability. In what it said was a "highly unusual" step, Microsoft also agreed to provide the patch for older versions of Windows, including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

When a user does not have any control over the programme that she is running, the program controls the user. Ubuntu, Mint, Debian Fedora are widely used PC operating system with a greater community support. Users are also advised to back up valuable data regularly, either to cloud services or to another disk drives, an not click on suspicious links or attached files. Ransomware is a malicious software that prevents users from accessing their computers by encrypting the data on the device.

"WannaCry's propagation in those countries illustrate the dangers of using bootlegged software", Engadget wrote.

Hence, any long-term solutions need to be discussed and developed outside the ambit of the unholy alliance between the NSA and IT giants, the free software way.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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