Sheffield professor's advice on how to protect yourself — NHS cyber attack

Fernando Stephens
May 18, 2017

The market for insurance against such attacks is expected to triple to $10 billion by 2020, Bloomberg News reports.

"We've never seen anything like this", he said.

While Microsoft's reputation has suffered in the past because of security problems, the company's stock is barely down from the close of trading Thursday, just before reports of the ransomware.

There have been calls for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the major incident, with the Government and NHS chiefs facing questions over their preparedness and the robustness of vital systems.

The perpetrators of the attack are still not known. Three days after becoming infected the demand doubles.

Cyber security experts have warned that the ransomware virus, which affected one in five NHS trusts, could be reactivated by computers and devices that have not yet been switched on.

The culprits used a digital code believed to have been developed by the US NSA - and subsequently leaked as part of a document dump, according to researchers at the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

India's cyber security agency Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) has issued an alert about Wannacry Ransomeware Virus.

That could saddle the company with the XP albatross for many years past when it hoped to be free from having to maintain the software. PSA Group, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Daimler, Toyota and Honda said their plants were unaffected. Security software maker Avast stated their researchers had noted 57,000 infections.

Microsoft released a patch for the flaw in March after hackers stole the exploit from the NSA.

How can you tell if a computer has been infected? Some have also been machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions, hard to patch without disrupting operations.

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

Today's Brokerage Rating: SM Energy Company (SM), Opko Health, Inc. (OPK)
Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Opko Health from a "hold" rating to a "sell" rating in a report on Thursday, May 4th. The business had revenue of $296.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $313.36 million. (NYSE:RWT).

However, Russian president Vladimir Putin castigated U.S. intelligence agencies for the WannaCry outbreak.

"Once they're let out of the lamp, genies of this kind, especially those created by intelligence services, can later do damage to their authors and creators", he said.

The attack on Friday saw ambulances diverted and operations cancelled up and down the country.

"The vast majority of patients have noticed no difference", Rudd told BBC television, describing the work of Britain's National Health Service over the weekend as "heroic".

"It was clear that warnings were given to hospital trusts but this is not something that focused on attacking the NHS here in the United Kingdom", she told reporters on Monday.

Britain's National Health Service (NHS) is the world's fifth largest employer after the US and Chinese militaries, Walmart and McDonald's.

Speaking in Beijing, Mr Putin cited comments by a top Microsoft executive that criticised the USA government's "stockpiling" of cyberweapons. "It was clear (that) warnings were given to hospital trusts".

Oil and gas company PetroChina said some of its stations were affected, but the company has already restored the majority of its systems.

Since the weekend of chaos, the NHS said at least seven Trusts still required "extra support".

In Japan, 2,000 computers at 600 locations were reported to have been affected. By late morning, some people were still manually filling out forms, but 70 percent of systems were online.

Despite the high profile of WannaCry, widespread malware outbreaks have become less common over the years, as Microsoft has improved the security of its systems, said Ziv Mador, vice president for security research at Trustwave, a security services firm.

Other reports by BadHub

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