Attack should be wake-up call for govts
- Author: Salvatore Jensen May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 3:27
The attack was one of the largest ransomware attacks in history. He made a decision to register it for $10.69, and "unexpectedly triggered part of the ransomware's code that told it to stop spreading", BBC reports.
Wainwright warned the healthcare sector "in many countries" was particularly vulnerable, but that all organizations should ensure they prioritise cyber security and update their systems.
The attack blocks computers and puts up images on victims' screens demanding payment of $300 (275 euros) in the virtual currency Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"
Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital has been hit by the nationwide cyber attack on the NHS.
President Vladimir Putin denied Russian Federation, which has been accused of cyber meddling in several countries around the world in recent years, had anything to do with an attack that hit hundreds of thousands of computers.
The exploit was among those employed by tools believed to have been used by the US National Security Agency released in a Shadow Brokers dump last month.
Microsoft issued a free patch for the weakness that has been exploited by the ransomware in march this year. Because numerous computers impacted run older Windows systems like XP, Microsoft issued a rare patch for XP, which it had stopped updating more than three years ago.
The ransomware took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating system.
Computers around the globe were hacked beginning last Friday using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that was no longer given mainstream technical support by the U.S. computing giant. Brad Smith, who is Microsoft's chief legal officer, said Sunday in a blog post that his company, its customers and the government all share the blame. And giving the hackers what they want proves the worm is effective, the agency said.
"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", wrote Smith.
Microsoft declared the attack a "wake-up call" for governments across the world.
The NSA exploit codes were leaked earlier this year by the Shadow Brokers hacking group which had previously been offering the United States government cyber weapons in exchange for millions of dollars in Bitcoin.
Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to a computer or its data and demands money from the user to release it.