WannaCry Ransomware Gets Upgraded and This Time There Is No Kill Switch

RBI has asked banks to follow the instructions of government organisation CERT-In to prevent the attack by ransomware, "WannaCry", which has impacted various IT networks in over 150 countries.

Computers booting up to start the workweek might continue the spread of "WannaCry", a ransomware attack where hackers lock down a computer and threaten to delete all its data unless a ransom is paid. "Not installing regular software updates is the primary cause for such malware to spread like wildfire". Aleksandr Yampolskiy, founder and chief executive of SecurityScorecard, told CNBC that Apple computers are also vulnerable as well. That prompted the company to issue another patch on Friday for older and unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP, allowing users to secure their systems without requiring an upgrade to the latest operating software.

Hundreds of hospitals and clinics in the British National Health Service were infected on Friday, forcing them to send patients to other facilities. Larger organisations though may have policies that can cover damages as high as $500 - $600 million.

"We believe organizations that have been affected (by WannaCry) will likely increase their cybersecurity spending", said Jonathan Ho, a William Blair analyst in a report.

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.

In addition to Russian Federation, the biggest targets appeared to be Ukraine and India, nations where it is common to find older, unpatched versions of Windows in use, according to the security firm.

"The operating systems on our computers and software downloads are managed centrally so that regular users can not download executable files from the internet without administrative rights", he said in an email. And while Microsoft had already released a security update to patch the vulnerability one month earlier, the sequence of events fed speculation that the NSA hadn't told the USA tech giant about the security risk until after it had been stolen.

Russian Federation appeared to be the hardest hit, according to security experts, with the country's Interior Ministry confirming it was struck. And the United Kingdom government called an emergency meeting over the crisis. They, too, should regularly update with software patches as they're issued.

This includes whitelisting certain websites and software so only approved programs can run on a computer, or disabling administrative privileges on a company's machines so that only the IT department can download programs. The Windows vulnerability theft from the NSA is directly tied to WannaCry. Microsoft worked throughout the day to ensure we understood the attack and were taking all possible actions to protect our customers. Smith said, "The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call". But computers and networks that didn't update their systems are still at risk.

Once inside a network the virus can then spread to other connected computers.

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