Microsoft’s president blames NSA for WannaCry attack
The attack, known as “WannaCry” had a major impact across Asia as workers there returned to work on Monday, with Chinese state media saying nearly 30,000 institutions there had been infected.
However staff beginning the working week have been told to be careful.
“We weren’t expecting to see it but there has been a slight decline in the number of computers affected in Europe”, Europol said.
The data shows that newer operating systems that were patched prior to last week’s ransomware attacks, including Windows 7 and Windows 10, make up a 83 percent share of all business computers.
Payment is demanded within three days or the price is doubled, and if none is received within seven days, the files will be deleted, according to the screen message.
Later on Friday, it was revealed that the attack had spread to 75 countries, hitting Russia’s interior ministry, the Spanish telecom giant Telefonica and the USA delivery firm FedEx.
How has Monday been so far?
Many firms employed experts over the weekend to try to prevent new infections. Please, he urged, don’t ignore security updates. Following the WannaCry attack, one of the biggest in history, Microsoft itself has joined the ranks of the critics.
Russian Railways: State media said a virus attacked the IT system of Russian Railways, but it did not affect operations due to a prompt response.
South Korea: Only nine ransomware cases. Universities, with older systems, particularly badly hit.
Banking systems across the region were largely unaffected.
Who is behind the attack?
This won’t take long.
What to do if you’re a victim – should you pay the ransom?
“They just happened to hit the mother lode”.
However, Russian president Vladimir Putin castigated USA intelligence agencies for the WannaCry outbreak.
Basic protocol such as stressing that workers shouldn’t click on questionable links or open suspicious attachments can save headaches. However, there is no confirmation on whether the access is restored after the amount is paid.
The evidence suggests that the unknown attackers had only one goal: profit. There are also reports of phishing attacks to get it started.
It was leaked as part of a document dump, according to researchers at the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab. Over the weekend, a 22-year-old cybersecurity researcher from England named Marcus Hutchins discovered and inadvertently activated a “kill switch” buried in the malware’s code.
What’s behind Microsoft’s “wake-up call” warning?
The malicious software – known as WannaCrypt or WannaCry – is widely believed to have been developed as a hacking tool by the US National Security Agency. The central bank reportedly said those monitoring the cyberattacks found “no incidents compromising data resources of banking institutions”.
“This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem”, Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a Sunday blog post. He says that when the NSA lost control of the software behind the cyberattack, it was like “the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen”. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems.
Some officials even discussed whether the flaw was so risky they should reveal it to Microsoft, the company whose software the government was exploiting, according to former NSA employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the issue.
Alex Abdo, a staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, said Microsoft and other software companies have strategically settled lawsuits that could lead to court rulings weakening their licensing agreements. Tough – time-consuming, expensive and complex.
“This is an emerging pattern in 2017”.