Ransomware WannaCry: Uttar Pradesh police lists 5 steps to save your computer

Joan Terry
May 19, 2017

The country's cyber security agency has alerted Internet users against damaging activities of a strong and globally active ransomware virus- "Wannacry"- that critically infects workstations and locks them remotely. ATM machines run on Windows software which have been proved vulnerable to attack and more than 60 percent of the 2.25 lakh ATMs in the country run on the outdated Windows XP.

Despite downplaying of ransomware WannaCry's impact by the Centre; IT experts have cautioned users that the number of effected organisations is expected to rise rapidly.

Interpol thinks that more than 200,000 people in more than 150 countries were affected - and things could get worse. Both China and Russian Federation have pointed out that the United States government is partially to blame, since the ransomware was developed from a snooping tool used by its National Security Agency (NSA), then discovered by hackers and shared online in April.

The patch protected newer Windows systems and computers that had enabled Windows Update to apply it, but not older versions for which it no longer provides support. It effectively takes the computer hostage and demands a US$300 ransom, to be paid in 72 hours with bitcoin.

Similarly, two big telecom companies, Telefónica (TEF) of Spain and Megafon of Russian Federation, were also hit, as was Japanese carmaker Nissan (NSANF) in the United Kingdom.

What versions of Windows are affected?

He further added that "repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage".

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One of the best ways to protect your computer from attack was to make sure you had backups, Goldstuck said. But the vulnerability still existed for legacy versions of Windows, like Windows 8 and Windows XP.

Reports say new variants of WannaCrypt have appeared that do not have this kill switch. If these companies failed to update the security systems of their Microsoft Windows Operating Systems, they could face potential lawsuits, Business Insider reports. It might be easier said than done, but we must take all available precautions recommended by experts.

In a blog post on Sunday, Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft, noted that as cyberattacks have grown in sophistication, the government practice of hoarding malicious tools has done more harm than good.

"Working through our Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) and Digital Crimes Unit, we'll also share what we learn with law enforcement agencies, governments, and other customers around the world", the software firm said. "Users must update the patch MS-17010 provided by Microsoft using the source link http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms17-010.aspx".

Some 47 NHS trusts fell victim to these ransomware attacks resulting in devastating consequences for some patients, as operations were cancelled and medical records held for ransom.

Other reports by BadHub

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