Global ransomware attack appears to slow in US
The cyberattack, which began in London on Friday morning, has so far affected 150 countries and locked more than 200,000 computers.
The geography of attacks that hit post-Soviet Union most also suggests that. In retrospect, what more convenient confluence of events could there be than having a handy justification for Q2 GDP missing again – just blame it on the computer virus – and accusing Russian Federation of being responsible for the latest global slowdown. But word got out when a hacker group known as the Shadow Brokers dumped a bunch of leaked NSA information onto the Internet in April. While the WannaCry virus appears to be slowing, reports of new variations of the malware have already started to appear.
The attack was apparently halted in the afternoon in the United Kingdom when a researcher took control of an Internet domain that acted as a kill switch for the worm’s propagation, according to Ars Technica. However, he said it’s only a matter of time before a malevolent version exists.
Auto manufacturer Renault said one of its plants, which employs 3,500 people in Douai, northern France, wasn’t reopening Monday as technicians dealt with the cyberattack’s aftermath.
Set up programs to patch as quickly as possible.
“Hopefully people are learning how important it is to apply these patches”, said Darien Huss, a senior security research engineer for cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, who helped stem the reach of the weekend attack.
“There’s a lot of older Windows products out there that are “end of life” and nobody’s bothered to take them out of service”, said Cynthia Larose, a cybersecurity expert at the law firm of Mintz Levin.
“The numbers are still going up”, Wainwright said.
In an attempt to prevent more damage, Microsoft released a security update for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Sever 2003.
In Britain, some hospitals were forced to turn away patients and delay operations.
More than 150 countries have been affected, and we’re in constant communication with global partners, including Europol, Interpol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the collaboration has been strong and effective. Japanese broadcaster NTV reported 600 companies in that country had been hit, and automaker Nissan and the Hitachi conglomerate said they were addressing the problem at their units that were affected. Many of those were unpatched, and an easy mark for WannaCry.
Think twice before clicking on links or downloading attachments and apps.
Michael Mitchell, spokesman for Oreo cookie maker Mondelez International, said the company is not aware of any incidents from the attack, though it did alert employees. No details were disclosed.
It was too early to say who was behind the onslaught, which struck 100,000 organizations, and what their motivation was, aside from the obvious demand for money.
“My answer is, never pay the ransom”, Lawrence Abrams, a New York-based blogger who runs BleepingComputer.com told The Associated Press.
The software, which spreads among Windows computers, infects and then locks up individual machines, demanding a ransom to be paid in the electronic currency Bitcoin. Microsoft, however, had already issued a software update the month before; those that downloaded and installed the patch were protected from WannaCry, but many others lagged behind and became victims.
After the WannaCry cyberattack hit computer systems worldwide, Microsoft says governments should report software vulnerabilities instead of collecting them. “Attackers update their software. other attackers will learn from the method and will carry out attacks”. And while Microsoft had already released a security update to patch the vulnerability one month earlier, the sequence of events fed speculation that the NSA hadn’t told the US tech giant about the security risk until after it had been stolen.
“It’s one of those things, in a flawless world, if people were up to date on the patches, this wouldn’t be a problem”, O’Leary said. The patch lists can be ginormous.