Worldwide cyber-attack "Wannacry"

Fernando Stephens
May 18, 2017

A group that has taken credit for leaking NSA cyber spying tools - including those used in the recent WannaCrypt global ransomware attack - has threatened in a blog it is believed to have authored to release more recent code to enable hackers to break into the world's most widely used computers, software and phones. Brad Smith, the company's lawyer wrote on Microsoft's official blog: "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".

"This is an emerging pattern in 2017", Smith wrote Sunday in an online post. "We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", the company declared.

The attack, Smith says, "represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today - nation-state action and organized criminal action".

The Conficker worm infected millions of computers including government, business and home computers in over 190 countries.

WannaCry uses three hard-coded bitcoin addresses to gather ransom payments, and that is likely to make it challenging to work out who has paid, assuming the gang behind it does intend to restore locked files.

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. Those include a known and highly risky security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn't apply Microsoft's March software fix, and malware created to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks. The company rates the update as "critical" for supported Windows releases.

WannaCry exploits a vulnerability in older versions of Windows, including Windows 7 and Windows XP.

Interior Ministry: The Russian Interior Ministry acknowledged a ransomware attack on its computers, adding that less than 1% of computers were affected.

Apple is not invulnerable to ransomware attacks, "a common misconception", one expert tells CNBC.

"Any computer that has been infected should not be trusted", adds Savvides.

Colorado Republicans say they seek the truth in any Trump investigation
In this May 8 photo, then-FBI Director James Comey speaks to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in Washington. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, sent a letter Wednesday asking Comey to testify before the committee in both open and closed sessions.

The attack has effected governments, hospitals and corporations, especially those running outdated computer systems. The statement said antivirus systems are working to destroy it. By Monday, the company said it had resumed "normal operations".

We first heard about WannaCry last week from the UK's health service, which appeared to be one of the first major computer systems affected by the hack.

"This area of law has been stunted in its growth", he said. "McAfee has subsequently provided DAT (that contain data in text or binary format) updates to all its customers and provided them and the public further analysis on the attacks", Ian Yip, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific, McAfee, told IANS. Also, Broomfield Hospital - Mid Essex Hospital Services was diverting trauma patients patients to Southend University Hospital.

What about for the hacker or hackers behind the attack - was it worth it?

Passengers were urged to use the DB Navigator or the DB Streckenagent apps.

Dowling notes that attacks like WannaCry ransomware should be expected with the technologically advanced world we live in.

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits", Europol's European Cybercrime Center says.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the status of the review process.

David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey.

Other reports by BadHub

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