Microsoft and NSA face off over cyber attack

19 Mai, 2017, 17:13 | Author: Marc Bacque

Whoever is behind the attack could update the ransomware and remove the kill switch.

It should be noted the WannaCry ransomware, which exploits the EternalBlue vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows OS, doesn't impact devices running on Linux or Apple's MacOS.

"Clearly people who run supported versions of Windows and patched quickly were not affected", Trustwave's Mador said. The ransomware, which spread using an exploit on SMB protocol, encrypted nearly all the files available on the infected devices. In order to decrypt the files, a user has to pay a ransom of $300 worth in bitcoins, and there is a deadline within which this has to be paid.

On Friday, businesses, governments and the UK's National Health Service were left scrambling in the wake of a massive ransomware attack. Here's a quick look.

Microsoft blamed the US National Security Agency (NSA), from which crucial information regarding flaws in various global software systems was stolen in April. Many solutions exist on the open market that may lead you to believe you are backing up your entire computer, but if your business relies on technology and the data you have on your computers is critical to your business, then you need to make sure your IT provider is regularly backing up your data to multiple locations in a secure and reliable way.

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Microsoft has also release an update for its Windows Defender program, which can detect the WannaCry ransomware threat. "If they don't have an automatic update mechanism and they don't apply patches manually, they're going to be at risk - it's as simple as that".

The company made the expensive patch for old software such as Windows XP free of charge at around midnight local time on Friday, though that was too late to contain the WannaCry outbreak.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA | Following a massive cyber attack that has swept across dozens of countries around the world recently, the president of the USA technology giant Microsoft, Brad Smith, called on the governments, tech sector and customers to join forces in boosting global cyber security. "Yet, when a serious vulnerability is discovered in software, many companies respond slowly or say it's not their problem". Further, given the time difference from GMT, Israeli government departments and businesses would have closed for the weekend by the time the WannaCry attack had began.

While encrypting individual computers it infects, WannaCry code does not attack network data-backup systems, as more sophisticated ransomware packages typically do, security experts who have studied WannaCry code agree.

Now the group which stole these hacking weapons is called Shadow Brokers, and they are promising more chaos by releasing more of these tools to criminals.

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