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May 30 2017, 07:25 | Alexander Lowe
WannaCry Ransomware: What We Know Monday
A group called Shadow Brokers leaked stolen hacking tools used by an organization tied to the National Security Agency, and Avast contends that these tools were likely used in the ransomware attack.
"When you combine WannaCry ransomware and a worm this powerful, there's no surprise the result is a global attack". The speed and reach of WannaCry, as well as its ability to evolve, are yet more examples of the new age of cyberterrorism that we live in. And that's for a simple reason: Individuals and organizations alike are fundamentally awful about keeping their computers up-to-date with security fixes.
We haven't seen a second spike in #WannaCry#ransomware attacks, but that doesn't mean there won't be one. Microsoft aims to deliver a more modern design by being more minimalistic, which also makes it more efficient for users.
It says universities and educational institutions were among the hardest hit, numbering 4,341, or about 15 percent of internet protocol addresses attacked. By providing a single place for all files to be saved in, Microsoft allowing multiple devices a way to be more organized and prevent loss of important files.
Just one click on an infected attachment or bad link would lead to all computers in a network becoming infected, said Vikram Thakur, technical director of Symantec Security Response.
Always install your updates as companies always release software updates to fix vulnerabilities that can be exploited to install ransomware. But that's complicated, because hackers need to find security flaws that are unknown, widespread and relatively easy to exploit.
"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex global investigation to identify the culprits", the European police agency added.
The massive ransomware attack that began last week and hit computers around the world should send a "wake-up call" to governments that have kept vulnerabilities secret to exploit them, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said yesterday in a blog post.
Researchers with security software maker Avast said they had observed 57,000 infections in 99 countries with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan the top targets.
For instance, the Conficker virus, which first appeared in 2008 and can disable system security features, also spreads through vulnerabilities in internal file sharing. Other experts found his claim credible.
"Once they're let out of the lamp, genies of this kind, especially those created by intelligence services, can later do damage to their authors and creators", he said. "Part of what an organization needs to understand and assess is what those two risks are". But the South Korean cinema chain CJ CGV Co. was restoring advertising servers at dozens of theaters after the attack left the company unable to display trailers of upcoming movies.
Analysts suggest the attackers made it decryption-proof, as some tech-savvy users might try their hand at using software to bypass making any payments.
The health service has been criticised for using the outdated Windows XP operating system to store digital information, despite security updates for the software having been discontinued by Microsoft. Short of paying, options for these individuals and companies are usually limited to recovering data files from a backup, if available, or living without them. Patients were asked not to go to hospitals unless it was an emergency and even some key services like chemotherapy were cancelled.
FedEx: The company said it was "experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware" and was trying to fix the problems as quickly as possible.