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Massive Ransomware Attack Affects Organizations Worldwide

18 May, 2017, 20:25 | Author: Nadine Todd
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"It's quite an easy change to make, to bypass the way we stopped it", he told the AP.

He argued there should be "a new requirement for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them". Its movie ticket systems were unaffected.

While a United Kingdom security researcher managed to stop the spread of the virus, hackers have issued new versions that cybersecurity organizations are trying to counter and stamp out.

The attack is unique, according to Europol, because it combines ransomware with a worm function, meaning once one machine is infected, the entire internal network is scanned and other vulnerable machines are infected. The study also found that 70 per cent of businesses infected with ransomware would pay the ransom.

NHS organisations across the country are braced for a possible recurrence of Friday's cyber attack when staff return to work on Monday. In an interview on ABC's "This Week", Clapper said the worry was "this ransomware attack will be even larger" as people return to their desks after the weekend.

How can people protect their computers?

Friday's "unprecedented" ransomware cyberattack has hit as many as 200,000 victims in over 150 countries, Rob Wainwright, the head of European Union police agency Europol said on Sunday.

"We are now getting reports that there might be two other incidents so that would bring the total number of incidents in Australia to three", Dan Tehan, Assistant Minister for Cybersecurity told ABC News, "...what we are seeing is the exact same features that have occurred overseas: "a freezing of their IT systems and a ransomware note".

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. The initial demand was for $300 in bitcoins, but it now has gone up to $600 worth of the currency, Gazeley said. This screen was photographed at Britain's National Health Service.

What is a ransomware attack?

"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", Smith wrote.

Who was behind the attack?

Computers around the globe were hacked beginning on Friday using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that was no longer given mainstream tech support by the USA giant.

MacGibbon said it was still not known how the virus had originated and then spread, although it was likely the transmission included email.

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Saturday that the problem was largely resolved but that "there's always more" that could be done to protect against computer viruses.

As a loose global network of cybersecurity experts fought the ransomware hackers, in China, state media said more than 29,000 institutions had been infected along with hundreds of thousands of devices.

As time went by, other countries reported infections.

The hackers remain anonymous for now, but it appears that they are amateurs.

A massive cyberattack brought computers to a halt on Friday and Saturday, the malware affecting over one lakh computers and systems in nearly 150 nations worldwide, ranging from the UK National Health Service to a French carmaker with an alliance plant in Chennai, the German railways, the Andhra Pradesh police and entire Russian systems.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said: "On Monday morning at the start of the new working week it's likely that successful attacks from Friday that haven't yet become apparent will become apparent".

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