WannaCry is your fault — Microsoft to NSA

Fernando Stephens
May 20, 2017

This way, you will not lose it all and will be able to recover from the attack.

Avast, an global security software firm that claims it has 400 million users worldwide, said the ransomware attacks rose rapidly Saturday to a peak of 57,000 detected intrusions. Moreover, the attack spread widely easily since large numbers of NHS organisations failed to act on a critical notice from Microsoft two months ago - a software patch that if installed would have prevent the attack.

"I'm anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn on their machines on Monday", Europol director Rob Wainwright told Britain's ITV television. At least 30,000 Chinese computers were affected after the hack on Saturday. If people would have acted more carefully online, the attack would not have extended so much. The ease of stopping the attack suggests the hackers were new to this game.

It's largely a question of resources and attention.

Some security researchers have said that it was possible for the North Korea-linked Lazarus Group to be behind the attack, but added that they would have to do more research. In reality, doing that may be more hard than it sounds, either because of corporate cultures that don't prioritize security or because of a lack of funding to upgrade to the latest and greatest.

In other words, while governments are enjoying the convenience from technology, they need to have a sense of responsibility and not to downplay the destruction security loopholes in computer networks could bring.

Much of the worldwide blame has been put on the NSA, which had created the exploits the virus has used to infect computers.

"We haven't seen anything quite like this before-the way in which it has spread and affected so many people", says Avi Rubin, who is director of the Health and Medical Security Lab at Johns Hopkins University.

Other organizations, he said, may have stuck with legacy software because it worked and paying to upgrade to new versions of Windows didn't seem necessary. Still, many are urging consumers not to pay the ransom if they can avoid it because giving in simply encourages attackers to pump out more ransomware, and victims may not get their data back even if they do pay.

Severe storms, including hail and damaging winds, expected Thursday evening
The earlier the storms arrive, the more severe the weather is expected to be, according to the National Weather Service . He says that in some cases, the responders left their own storm-damaged homes to help search the mobile home park.

"Anytime something like this happens, we wonder if this will be the tipping point".

Who's being targeted? Am I safe?

Microsoft said it had taken the "highly unusual step" of releasing a patch for computers running older operating systems including Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

What about Apple and Android devices?

Spanish firm Telefonica, French automaker Renault, the USA -based delivery service FedEx and the German railway Deutsche Bahn were among those affected.

The healthcare industry is one of the biggest targets for cybercriminals. And Android phones are notoriously susceptible to malware, in part because many Android phones run outdated versions of the system and it's incumbent on cellphone carriers to push updates.

Who's behind the WannaCry attack? The vulnerability in Windows that WannaCry takes advantage of was discovered by the NSA for its surveillance toolkit.

In the past, we saw many times secret services asking companies to relax their encryption policies, or to install a backdoor or even to totally remove encryption.

Microsoft in an email to consumers wrote it had released the security update, which addresses the vulnerability that WannaCry is exploiting. "This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem". If you have been regularly updating your Windows OS, then you are protected against WannaCry for now. "Microsoft issued an emergency patch over the weekend addressing this situation for those people".

Other reports by BadHub

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