Health Care

Cyberattack havoc could grow as work week begins, experts say

Cyberattack havoc could grow as work week begins, experts say”

The cyberattack that spread malicious software around the world, shutting down networks at hospitals, banks and government agencies, was thwarted by a young British researcher and an low-cost domain registration, with help from another 20-something security engineer in the U.S. The software is normally contained within an attachment to an email that masquerades as something innocent through phishing emails, malicious adverts on websites and questionable apps and programs. The security flaw that hackers used to launch the attacks on Friday was made public after information was stolen from the NSA, which routinely searches for flaws in software and builds tools to exploit them, the report said.

Wainwright said earlier on British TV that the attack was "unprecedented" in its reach, with more than 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries.

Unfortunately, no. This is merely one "strain" of the virus that has been stopped from spreading over networks. Hospitals, universities, manufacturers and government agencies in the U.K., China, Russia, Germany and Spain have all been affected.

Russia's Interior Ministry, with oversight of the police forces, said about "1,000 computers were infected", which it described as less than 1 percent of the total, according to its website.

Spanish firm Telefonica, French automaker Renault, the US -based delivery service FedEx and the German railway Deutsche Bahn were among those affected.

The harsh lesson to be learned is that we have to better protect our systems, at the individual, corporate and government levels. Experts say this vulnerability has been understood among experts for months, yet too many groups failed to take it seriously.

"The numbers are still going up", Wainwright said.

As Windows 10 is safe from "Ransomware" attack, running Windows Update on systems will defend from it.

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Microsoft said in a blog post Saturday that it was taking the "highly unusual" step of providing the patch for older versions of Windows it was otherwise no longer supporting, including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. "Obviously, they want those tools in order to spy on people of interest, on other countries, to conduct surveillance", Cluley said.

Other criminals may be tempted to mimic the success of Friday's "ransomware " attack, which locks up computers and hold people's files for ransom. This is something Microsoft has been arguing for a while, but perhaps this recent attack will make organisations like the NSA listen harder.

WannaCry has already caused massive disruption around the globe.

Sixteen National Health Service (NHS) organizations in the United Kingdom have been hit, and some of those hospitals have canceled outpatient appointments and told people to avoid emergency departments if possible.

As its modus operandi, the Wannacry/ WannaCrypt Ransomware drops user manuals in - Chinese, Indonesian, French, Vietnamese, Turkish, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Danish, Korean, Croatia, Polish. State media reported that digital payment systems at PetroChina gas stations were offline, forcing customers to pay cash.

Internet security firm Kaspersky said the largest number of attacks occurred in Russian Federation, but Ukraine, India, and Taiwan have also been hit. So far, he said, not many people have paid the ransom demanded by the malware. The effects were felt across the globe, with Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the US and French carmaker Renault all reporting disruptions. Had it not been for a young cybersecurity researcher's accidental discovery of a so-called "kill switch", the malicious software likely would have spread much farther and faster.

"Affected machines have six hours to pay up and every few hours the ransom goes up", said Kurt Baumgartner, the principal security researcher at security firm Kaspersky Lab.

The phenomenon of companies failing to update their systems has been a persistent security problem for years.



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