New Work Week Brings Fears Global Cyberattack Could Spread
- Author: Joanne Flowers May 17, 2017,
May 17, 2017, 22:30
Asian governments and businesses continued Monday to be disrupted by the WannaCry ransomware cyber attack that erupted Friday, according to media reports from China, Japan, South Korea, Viet Nam and India.
On Saturday, experts said it appeared that the ransomware had made just over $20,000, although they expected that number to pop when people went back into the office Monday.
"We will get a decryption tool eventually, but for the moment, it's still a live threat and we're still in disaster recovery mode", Europol director Rob Wainwright told CNN on Sunday.
After taking computers over, the virus displayed messages demanding a payment of $300 in virtual currency Bitcoin to unlock files and return them to the user. And the hackers warned that they will delete all files on infected systems if no payment is received within seven days.
Meanwhile, cyber expert Pawan Duggal asserted that Ransomware attack is the biggest attack in the human history and India is thoroughly unprepared for this.
"How did the malware manage to spread if Microsoft had already shipped a Windows update that fixed the vulnerability WannaCrypt was exploiting?" wrote Forbes contributor Lee Mathews.
The use of that domain is being called a "kill switch" in the malware. The researcher registered the name, and at that point the malware infection slowed.
Not only is it unclear what software is being stockpiled or how it is being protected, but there is no disclosure about whether - or how - the weapons are actually used.
China was also hit hard by the attack, with 29,000 organisations in total falling victim to the ransomware.
The indiscriminate attack was unleashed Friday, striking hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide by exploiting known vulnerabilities in older Microsoft computer operating systems.
The cyberattacks started Friday and spread rapidly around the globe using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that is no longer given mainstream tech support by the U.S. giant. Use it. And install updates for your other software, including apps.
Microsoft has called out government agencies, and the National Security Agency in particular, for stockpiling cybersecurity vulnerabilities, which led to the creation and launch of the massively damaging WannaCry ransomware.
NHS Digital, the body of the Department of Health that uses information and technology to support England's health care system, told ABC News it was working closely with the National Cyber Security Center and other agencies to fix the damage.
Don't grumble when your system administrator at work takes the network down periodically to update systems, which usually includes installing new and often critical software patches. Security experts believe that the NSA might have tipped off Microsoft about the flaw.
Hitachi: The Japanese electronics firm said Monday that its computer systems have been experiencing problems since the weekend, including not being able to send and receive emails or open attached files.
Britain's National Health Services first sounded the ransomware alarm Friday.