Tech

Beware, WannaCry cyber attack may just be the beginning

Beware, WannaCry cyber attack may just be the beginning

WannaCry infected more than 300,000 computers with ransomware, and the malware's most risky feature wasn't even the fact that it encrypted the user's personal files asking for ransom in Bitcoin.

WannaCry may have initially spread from the first infected machines via email attachments, security experts believe.

Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at Gartner, agreed that the government is "is negligent not doing a better job protecting companies", but added that it's not like "you can stop the USA government from developing cybertools" that then work as intended.

According to the company, "customers who are running supported versions of the operating system (Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016) will have received the security update MS17-010 in March".

But there is need to understand that cyber weapons can be as harmful as the physical ones and there is dire need to dispose of them responsibly - since there seems to be no foreseeable end to government's hoarding cyber vulnerabilities against their enemies.

They exploited a ideal storm of factors - the Windows hole, the ability to get ransom paid in digital currency, poor security practices - but it's unclear if the payoff, at least so far, was worth the trouble.

Lee Kim, director of privacy and security for HIMSS North America, contends that there have been anecdotal reports by healthcare providers around the world-including the USA -of infections affecting their computers and medical devices.

Boy, 8, beaten unconscious days before days before killing himself
A Spartanburg woman is accused of hitting a little boy after he made a Mother's Day card for his grandmother, instead of her. The boy was heavily beaten and then left on the floor unconscious and there was nobody in the whole school to help him.

Britain's National Health Service, Spain's Telefonica and several private companies ranging from FedEx to LATAM Airlines were also impacted. Unfortunately, far too few people even bother.

If you had any version of Windows since Vista running the default Windows Update, you would have had the critical Microsoft Security Bulletin known as "MS17-010" pushed down to your PC and automatically installed. It is a real wake-up call for organisations that hold sensitive medical or personal information as to the devastating impact an attack can have.

WannaCry has largely been mitigated, but there are still hackers using the same exploit to infect computers - showing not everyone is able to fix their systems quickly. The higher risk of being encrypted lies at those Microsoft computers that are not patched with the update. "Make sure your IT service providers or IT folks within your organizations are patching your software-that's the bottom line", added Bossert. A "critical" patch had been issued by Microsoft on March 14 to remove the underlying vulnerability for supported systems, almost two months before the attack, but many organizations had not yet applied it. "There are actually legitimate reasons to wait to patch your systems".

The official told PTI that most Indian homes were using pirated Operating Softwares which were never updated, making them more vulnerable to the modern day virus threats like ransomware. "I don't think waiting two months is reasonable". "Those who have Windows Update enabled are protected against attacks on this vulnerability".

The attack started Friday and affected thousands of computers, hitting more than 150 countries by Monday.

"The fact that it started out in Europe served as an early warning system of sorts for US organizations to ensure that they had time for patches to be implemented", says Riggi. "A credit card number generally has a very limited shelf life before the bank detects fraudulent charges, and a credit card number can be easily cancelled or replaced".


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