A ‘second wave’ of ransomware could broaden global cyberattack

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Since it was first uncovered on Friday afternoon, the WannaCry ransomware attack, which has affected England’s National Health Service and prompted companies like automaker Renault to idle their factories, continues to spread throughout the world. It was benign because it contained a flaw that prevented it from taking over computers and demanding ransom to unlock files but other more malicious ones will likely pop up. Experts say it will be hard for them to replicate the conditions that allowed the so-called WannaCry ransomware to proliferate across the globe.

But individuals with PCs running Windows should still take a few precautions. The group said it was stolen from a repository of NSA hacking tools.

The phenomenon of companies failing to update their systems has been a persistent security problem for years. Germany’s national railway says that it was among the organizations affected by the global cyberattack but. Microsoft over the weekend also released patches targeting out-of-support versions of Windows including Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8.

Microsoft on Sunday said a software vulnerability stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency has affected customers around the world, and described the spread of the WannaCrypt ransomware on Friday in many countries as yet another example of the problems caused by the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments.

Earlier, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed there had not been a second wave of attacks on NHS trusts and said it was “encouraging” that the level of criminal activity was at “the lower end of the range” anticipated. Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion.

Microsoft took the unusual step late Friday of making free patches available for older Windows systems, such as Windows XP from 2001.

“Like many organizations around the world, some Nissan entities were recently targeted by a ransomware attack”.

The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center said 2,000 computers in Japan were reported affected so far, citing an affiliate foreign security organization that it can not identify. Installing the Microsoft patch is one way to secure computers against the virus. Install all Windows updates. 5.

What has tech security experts really anxious about this development is the fact that more exploits were released during the NSA leak than what caused last week’s attack.

The hackers remain anonymous for now, but it appears that they are amateurs. “It’s also important to keep in mind to continue doing this after the news goes quiet – the threat of a cyber attack won’t always make headlines”.

Ryan Kalember, senior vice president at Proofpoint Inc., says that millions of devices could be vulnerable if they haven’t applied security patches over the weekend.

Computers and networks that hadn’t recently updated their systems are still at risk because the ransomware is lurking.

An unprecedented “ransomware” cyberattack that has already hit tens of thousands of victims in 150 countries could wreak greater havoc as more malicious variations appear and people return to their desks Monday and power up computers at the start of the workweek.

Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the United Kingdom hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out. It combined a known and highly unsafe security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn’t apply Microsoft’s March software fix, and a software design that allowed the malware to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks.

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