Beware: Worldwide Ransomware Attack May Be Far from Over

A cohesive global response: within 1 hour of the malware becoming a global phenomenon we were utilising our Security Incident Management Process to understand how vulnerable we were and what additional action needed to be taken. The virus has so far infected almost 200,000 computers world-wide. "Software updates and security patches are pushed to us as needed so that we are using the most current approved versions of software on our computers". What was going on? The fact that ransomware based on a single vulnerability can cause such enormous damage should be a wakeup call to everyone about how vulnerable we are to cyberattacks.

As of 1400 GMT, the total value of funds paid into anonymous bitcoin wallets the hackers are using stood at just $55,169, from 209 payments, according to calculations made by Reuters using publicly available data.

Experts say victims of WannaCry initially received an email asking them to download an attachment.

A useful temporary fix is to limit network connectivity - identify which services you can turn off, especially vulnerable services such as network file sharing. Organisations and individuals must be familiar with what is stored in backup archives and ensure the most critical data is accessible should ransomware target backups. He added that if some ATMs were not functioning, it would most likely be due to technical errors and not because of the ransomware.

Up-to-date Windows machines are safe from the ransomware. We spoke with Senior Lecturer Steve Weisman, a cybersecurity and identity theft expert, to discuss the details behind the attack and if we should expect more of them in the future. Always keep your systems up-to-date and apply the latest security patches.

"Javelin's solution is specifically created to automatically detect, respond and contain such spreading in a corporate network in real time", he said.

Talos said the malware was leaked by the Shadow Brokers, a hacking group believed to have dumped NSA hacking tools.

Microsoft and the NSA have each been blaming the other for the ability of WannaCrypt to utilize a vulnerability in SMBv1 to spread. The problem is that not all customers installed the patch.

The agency and its partners in the global security community are now in a "sort of cat-and-mouse" competition with hackers, as variants of the software that foil previous solutions emerge, the official says.

Who are the attackers?

Even as computing advances provide more secure software, vulnerabilities won't go away.

Affected Windows systems include everything from Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.x, Windows Server 2012, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. He described what the WannaCry malware doing now and how it invades computers through an old loophole on Microsoft Windows.

Tom Bossert, US president Donald Trump's homeland security adviser, said people "should be thinking about this as an attack that for right now we have under control, but as an attack that represents an extremely serious threat", speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America" show.

Security firms have continually raised alarms about the NHS's reliance on Windows XP, an operating system that is no longer supported by Microsoft.

However, Hutchins and other security analysts warned that "this is not over". The next people who do some widespread ransom campaign - they're going to be a lot more successful because among other things, they'll make it a lot easier to pay. So by using this he was able to stop the attack, for the time being.

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