‘WannaCry’ Ransomware Attack: What We Know


Matthieu Suiche, a security researcher, was able to find two new variants of WannaCry.

The ransomware attack has affected more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries, said Rob Wainwright, head of law enforcement agency Europol.

The latest virus attack last week exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by United States intelligence.

Businesses could face legal claims if they failed to deliver services because of the attack, said Edward McAndrew, a data privacy lawyer at Ballard Spahr. “More than technical guidance, I want you to make sure you are spending the time needed to understand the concerns they have and that they know we are here to help”.

A ransomware attack that began in Europe on Friday is lingering – and hitting new targets in Japan and China. Microsoft, like other vendors whose vulnerabilities were in the NSA data dump, moved quickly to fix the defect. This person discovered that the unnamed online terrorists accidentally included a “kill switch” in their software that allowed owners of websites to stop the attack. Administrator accounts can install, update and remove software, and malware that infects an administrator account can do so as well. Security firms say Russian Federation was the country that was hit the hardest. “We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits”. Experts are urging all organizations to update their software. “It’s a business model that works and you don’t need a lot of investment to actually get a decent return”, said Tim Wellsmore, Asia-Pacific director for threat intelligence at FireEye, a California-based network security company.

According to the company, “customers who are running supported versions of the operating system (Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016) will have received the security update MS17-010 in March”. The malicious software was transmitted via email and stolen from the National Security Agency, reports the New York Times. “(Which is a shame, because that would have meant computers would have been patched earlier)”.

“The widespread nature of this attack suggests that organizations are still slow to patch significant vulnerabilities like the one now being associated with this event”, said Travis Farral, director of security strategy at Anomali and a former ExxonMobil security intelligence supervisor.

“The NHS wasn’t targeted”, he wrote. While neither Microsoft nor the NSA has confirmed it, computer experts believe that the NSA likely tipped off Microsoft about the flaw once they realized the tool had been stolen.

The attack has locked computers and blocked access to patient files.

In Spain, major companies including telecommunications firm Telefonica have been infected.

Shrivastava said the threat of such an outbreak at global level should serve as a wakeup call for those establishments using unlicenced software to cut costs.

The most frustrating thing about all of this – from an outsider’s perspective – is the realization that so many companies, and their employees, lack the dedication to cybersecurity protection options. “Senator, I don’t know”.

Weber warned there is no single entity capable of fixing this problem in the near future, since security depends on so many factors. The employees in that company’s tech department are leaving constantly – and at a rapid pace – due to the mismanagement.

“They have been working I know through the night nearly to make sure patches are in place to make sure that hopefully the NHS services can get back to normal”, Wallace told BBC Radio.

British hospitals hit by ransomware cyberattack


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