Pirated, outdated operating systems contributes in global ransomware attack

19 Mai, 2017, 23:05 | Author: Claudine Rigal

If you have a backup, there's no need to pay ransom for your data. "Microsoft has been critical of the U.S. government over this stockpiling of vulnerability code, and said this was equivalent to the government losing it stock of 'Tomahawk missiles". "It is deeply disturbing the National Security Agency likely wrote the original malware".

But it remains unclear how WannaCry got onto computers in the first place.

The malware spreads through email.

The worm encrypts data on an infected system, and then tells the user that their files have been locked and displays information on how much is to be paid and when - up to roughly $600 in bitcoin. There have been three accounts identified so far, and there's no indication yet that the criminals have touched the funds. India's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) had advised to victims of the attack, to not given into the cyber attackers' threats and pay the ransom.

According to a report by The Times of India, about 70% of the ATMs in India are vulnerable to such global cyberattacks and one of the primary reasons behind is the use of Windows XP version which crippled information systems across the globe. But they could all be drawing conclusions from a very small set of clues.

Smith's blog post did not address another factor in the ransomware's spread, one that hints at the difficulty of uniting against a hacking attack: Users of pirated Microsoft software are unable to download the security patch, forcing them to fend for themselves or rely on a third-party source for a solution. Another security company, Symantec, related the same findings, which it characterized as intriguing but "weak" associations, since the code could have been copied from the Lazarus malware. Among those hit were Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica and FedEx Corp.in the U.S. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.

Typical ransomware also generates a unique bitcoin account for each payment to make tracing hard.

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The company was the one providing security services to Britain's National Health Service, one of the organisations hit by the ransomware outbreak and possibly the one which earned the most coverage about its misfortunes.

The most disruptive attacks were reported in the United Kingdom, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.

Users who do not patch their systems and the Shadow Brokers were more directly responsible for the attack than NSA, they said. Luckily for us our data centres and infrastructure have not been affected. Businesses should back up data comprehensively, regularly and frequently.

WannaCry could also serve as a kind of template for future cyberattacks.

Malware requests payment in Bitcoins because they are safe, and can not be tracked by cyber security researchers or law enforcement agencies.

"The concern has always been, when are the real bad guys, the ones that don't care about rules of engagement, the ones who are really out to hurt us, will they become cyber-capable?" he said in an interview Monday night with The Associated Press.

"NSA should be embarrassed - they've had a lot of damaging leaks", said James Lewis, a former USA official who is now a cyber expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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