Risk & Repeat: WannaCry ransomware worm shakes tech industry

The program now also includes a built-in version of wanadecrypt, meaning it can both recover the key and use it to decrypt the files automatically - making it easier for less technically adept victims to operate as a means of recovering their files.

Some bit of good news though is that security professionals have created tools that may help you recover your encrypted data.

Each ransom amounted to at least $300. If they don't pay in a week, their files are wiped permanently.

"Organizations who continue to run Windows XP, software which can not adequately detect and protect your information assets, and obsolete software, will make your systems easy targets for hackers and cyber criminals, as these systems will be hardest hit as the level of vulnerabilities and exploits are high and easily available." . As per reports, a total of $87,105 has been transferred to the attacker's account.

Upwards of 230,000 computers worldwide were infected by the cryptoworm on May 12th during an attack that spread to more than 150 countries.

The majority of affected devices were running on old operating systems, with Windows XP and Windows 7 devices particularly vulnerable. The patch provided additional security.

Researchers have identified hundreds of WannaCry ransomware samples in the wild, malware responsible for debilitating attacks on health services and companies last week. Once the code is installed on the machine it takes control and does whatever the hacker intended. But Microsoft's security patch released in March should protect United States networks for those who install it.

On the other hand, less than one in a thousand were powered by Windows XP making it nearly insignificant for the discussion. The thing that baffles some users is that Microsoft released the necessary updates to combat this intrusion all the way back in March.

So what has been the impact of WannaCry on Indian companies?

And while some businesses are said to be simply unplugging themselves from the world wide web and sticking to paper and pen, Bogdan Boezatu, senior e-threat analyst at cybersecurity firm Bitdefender, says that approach is unrealistic in today's business world.

A leading cyber expert said Monday consumers shouldn't blindly accept a company's free offer to remove WannaCry ransomware from their computer. "In the Ministry of Defence, the credentials of service men were breached", he said.

Post Wanna Cry, Microsoft is now urging users to update to the latest version of Windows 10. The airline industry, for instance, notoriously holds on to legacy infrastructure. "The Windows XP count is insignificant". The fallout will most likely be a large number of mid and small-size companies who remain exposed to the threat due to the lack of IT security policies, pirated and or obsolete software. If WannaCry strikes there, it could lock up files with electronic healthcare records.

Other versions of Windows were not as vulnerable, although not always for the right reasons. "They focused on the most-widespread platform", said Raiu.

Imagine the chaos at airports, railway stations and hospitals if WannaCry strikes there.

That's not wrong at all, Charles King, principal analyst with research firm Pund-IT, told ITPro. The first examples of WannaCry, predating the version used in recent attacks which propagates like a worm, dates back to February this year. This-kill switch was an unregistered domain the virus was apparently trying to connect to, once inside the network. A vulnerability in Microsoft's operating system lead the NSA to build a tool, EternalBlue, to be able to access computers.

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