Ransomware attack should be wake-up call for govts

Ransomware attack should be wake-up call for govts

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But the aftershocks have so far been mild.

European policing and security agencies said the fallout from a ransomware attack that has already crippled more than 200,000 computers around the world could deepen as people return for another work week. Hospitals, universities, manufacturers and government agencies in the U.K., China, Russia, Germany and Spain have all been affected. "Since the user's bank account is linked with his Aadhaar number, the ransomware can potentially lock down the account and make it unusable unless a ransom is paid", Chakrabarty warned.

"The numbers are still going up", Wainwright said.

Companies and institutions are often slow to update their computers because it can screw up internal software that is built to work with a certain version of Windows.

The security holes it exploits were disclosed weeks ago by TheShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that published what it said are hacking tools used by the NSA.

The blame game has already started.

Microsoft, quoted by BBC, said that the recent cyber attack that has hit over 150 countries in the last week should be considered as a "wake-up call".

The "WannaCrypt" ransomware has proven to be a disaster globally. Once it infects one computer within a network, it can spread to all the computers in that network "within seconds", said Israel Levy, the CEO of the cybersecurity firm Bufferzone.

For example, if one of your coworkers opens an infected PDF attached to an email, soon everyone in your office could be under attack. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said all but six of the NHS trusts back to normal Saturday.

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The initiating attack vector is most likely a Phishing attack created to trick users into running the malware, or direct infection through the SMB exploit if a machine can be addressed. Fedex said Friday it was "experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware".

Nissan: The carmaker said in a statement that "some Nissan entities were recently targeted" but "there has been no major impact on our business".

Deutsche Bahn: The German railway company told CNNMoney that due to the attack "passenger information displays in some stations were inoperative" as were "some ticket machines". "Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past". The private sector is also heavily impacted with infections at FedEx in the US, Telefonica, Iberdrola, and Gas Natural in Spain, Portugal Telecom, Scottish Power, Renault factories in France, and Nissan in the United Kingdom; to name but a few.

Russian Central Bank: State media agency Tass reported the bank discovered malware bulk emails to banks but detected no compromise of resources. Bossert said the USA hasn't ruled out involvement by a foreign government, but that the recent ransom demands suggest a criminal network.

Security experts said his move bought precious time for organisations seeking to block the attacks.

Fortunately, Friday's ransomware attack may have been contained. Director Dennis So said the systems were not connected to malls' or tenants' networks.

Smith also called cyberattack protection a "shared responsibility" between companies and customers. He said the situation was under control.

The attack is likely to prompt more organizations to apply the security fixes that would prevent the malware from spreading automatically.

The ransomware campaign - which has gone through at least two phases as researchers worked to halt its advance - mostly affected Europe and Asia.

The NSA is now partially responsible for the global havoc that has caused hospitals to turn away patients, manufacturing to shut down, ATMs to go dark, and long shifts for cybersecurity professionals.

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