Ransomware cyber-attacks slow but fears remain

20 Mai, 2017, 01:35 | Author: Claudine Rigal

And the software is already inspiring imitators, as the Bleeping Computer site reports.

Under former President Barack Obama, the USA government created an inter-agency review, known as the Vulnerability Equities Process, to determine whether flaws should be shared or kept secret. Human error is the number one reason for the success of an email scam, so educating staff to stay on top of their email behavior is key.

"NSA should be embarrassed - they've had a lot of damaging leaks", said James Lewis, a former US official who is now a cyber expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "They've been able to manage through it". He said people still using older systems should upgrade. Unfortunately at the time the attack started many systems were still unpatched and legacy Windows systems such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 were left without a patch for the vulnerability. As one researcher put it, "enterprises often face a stark choice with security patches: take the risk of being knocked of the air by hackers, or take the risk of knocking yourself off the air". NIC is monitoring more than 100 websites of state departments, institutions and colleges. He adds that governments should report vulnerabilities like the one at the center of the WannaCry attack. "On China's most prestigious college campuses, students reported being locked out of their final papers".

"In my personal experience, I have come across that most of the ATMs run on customised versions/ embeds of Windows XP or better Windows 7 which came out in 2001 and 2009 respectively".

Malware-tracking maps show WannaCry has remained active in Europe over the past 24 hours. Your computer is infected with a virus that encrypts your files until you pay a ransom.

Jim Killock, the director of the digital rights campaigning group ORG, said the latest attack was a sign GCHQ should be split so it no longer has responsibility for cybersecurity as well as producing attacks. It's a true and damning argument on Smith's part: Whether due to internal leakers or external attackers, two of the most advanced and secretive spy agencies in the world have seen some of their most prized offensive tools snatched out of the shadows and not only made public, but weaponized against British hospitals, Chinese universities, and FedEx. This allowed whoever wrote WannaCry - it could be anyone from a lone individual to an organised crime syndicate - to use it to infect computers and extort users.

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Over the last few days, the global ransomware attack WannaCry infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files.

Smith went on to describe the situation as the equivalent of U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles getting stolen from military stockpiles. A researcher from Google posted on Twitter that an early version of WannaCrypt from February shared some of the same programming code as malicious software used by the Lazarus Group, the alleged North Korean government hackers behind the destructive attack on Sony in 2014 and the theft of $81m from a Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Fed past year.

Update the security patch MS17-010 released by Microsoft at the earliest.

Tom Bossert, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, addressed the issue at the White House daily press briefing.

"Vulnerabilities always exist in software".

The ransomware has affected at least 200,000 computers worldwide since Friday. He admits to have accidentally stopped the infection by registering a domain name (9iuqerfsodp9ifjaposdfjhgosurijfaewrwergwea.com) that he found in WannaCry's code, without knowing what its effect would be.

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