Research

Ransomware attack should be wake-up call for governments, says Microsoft

Ransomware attack should be wake-up call for governments, says Microsoft

But the post-mortem on how it happened - and how to stop it happening again - has only just begun.

Finding out who was behind the malware is going to be very hard. They have caused havoc worldwide, with the cruellest impact on the many patients who have had their treatments delayed and operations cancelled.

"Bitcoin is anonymous as long as you don't use it or spend it", said Heilman, who is working with BU professor Sharon Goldberg to develop a truly anonymous version of bitcoin.

EternalBlue had been dumped online by the ShadowBrokers, a group that's allegedly linked to Russian intelligence.

"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".

Dumping these tools online after they failed to sell them to the highest bidder was a hugely reckless act, probably created to embarrass the NSA and be a nuisance. The group said it was stolen from a repository of NSA hacking tools.

While encrypting individual computers it infects, WannaCry code does not attack network data-backup systems, as more sophisticated ransomware packages typically do, security experts who have studied WannaCry code agree. The flaw will only be fixed in Google's next OS update - Android "O".

"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a Sunday blog post.

When CNNTech first reported the Microsoft vulnerabilities leaked in April, Hickey said they were the "most damaging" he'd seen in several years, and warned that businesses would be most at risk. "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", says the Microsoft president. The hack highlighted the vulnerability the spy agency faces, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars to ramp up its own cybersecurity since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed internal agency files on its eavesdropping programs in 2013. "Today we see the cost".

Officials and experts on Sunday urged organizations and companies to update their operating systems immediately to ensure they aren't vulnerable to a second, more powerful version of the malicious software.

Microsoft said it had released a Windows security update in March to tackle the problem involved in the latest attack, but many users were yet to run it.

Why Impeaching Trump Could Make Everything Way, Way Worse
Counting Warren, 26 members of Congress have now mentioned the prospect of impeaching Trump, according to a CNN tally . Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 to avoid certain impeachment by Congress over the Watergate scandal. "Absolutely.

Google fixes any new found security vulnerability via these updates and if your device has the latest security update from Google, there is nothing to worry about.

In the wake of the attack, Microsoft said it had taken the "highly unusual step" of releasing a patch for computers running older operating systems including Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

Those hit by WannaCry also failed to heed warnings a year ago from Microsoft to disable a file sharing feature in Windows known as SMB, which a covert hacker group calling itself Shadow Brokers had claimed was used by NSA intelligence operatives to sneak into Windows PCs.

It's well known that the NHS and other organisations still have PCs running XP.

Good IT hygiene is therefore the key to cyber resilience; using supported software, applying security patches promptly, staff awareness training, a business resilience plan and remaining diligent.

Why do some organisations stick with XP?

On Sunday, the United States software giant called on intelligence services to strike a better balance between their desire to keep software flaws secret - in order to conduct espionage and cyber warfare - and sharing those flaws with technology companies to better secure the internet.

In hindsight, such penny-pinching may not have been the wisest move.

Renault said on Saturday it had halted manufacturing at plants in Sandouville, France, and Romania to prevent the spread of ransomware in its systems.

For those organizations having comprehensive security protocols in place, take this opportunity to conduct your regular re-assessments and threat analyses now.

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.


  • Fact Check: 'We Don't Have Health Care In This Country,' Trump Says

    Fact Check: 'We Don't Have Health Care In This Country,' Trump Says

    As an alternative, states could enroll people in low-priced , high-deductible plans or let them purchase more expensive policies. An amendment addressing pre-existing conditions ultimately helped pass the bill.

    Trump Says He's 'Very Close' to Naming a New FBI Director

    Senate from 1989 to 2013. "It's special", Trump said later Thursday at a joint news conference with Santos. Trump is interviewing candidates to replace former FBI Director James Comey who was sacked last week .
    Pence moves to launch PAC amid White House turmoil

    Pence moves to launch PAC amid White House turmoil

    Politico quotes anonymous Republican lawmakers, aides, and lobbyists who all voice a preference for Pence over Trump. But it can't hurt to know that if our president does have to go, we'll be just fine.
  • Ducks overcome early deficit, stingy Predators goalie to tie series

    Ducks overcome early deficit, stingy Predators goalie to tie series

    The Nashville netminder had a rough outing in Game 2, surrendering four goals on Anaheim's first 16 shots through two periods. Game three of the NHL Western Conference final series moves to Nashville as the Predators and the Anaheim Ducks are tied 1-1.
    Almodovar and Smith's comments on Netflix at Cannes

    Almodovar and Smith's comments on Netflix at Cannes

    In my house, Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit, because they get to watch films that they never even would've seen. They go to a movie theater to be humbled in front of certain images, and there's other films that they prefer to watch at home.
    Dominant Williams sees off Konta to reach Rome quarters

    Dominant Williams sees off Konta to reach Rome quarters

    The Romanian player, who won in Madrid last week, defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 4-6 6-0. "So I'm happy to be able to win matches here in Rome". "I feel great", she said.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio and Model Nina Agdal Split

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Model Nina Agdal Split

    Sources say that after just over a year of dating, Agdal and DiCaprio have mutually and amicably chose to go their separate ways. The Oscar victor , 42, and Sports Illustrated model, 25, have split after more than a year together, Us Weekly confirms .
    Senator says Flynn hasn't responded to subpoena

    Senator says Flynn hasn't responded to subpoena

    The Intelligence Committee is seeking to interview Flynn as part of its probe of Russian election interference. Popular Video SNL is not a fan of the Trump administration, and it shows with every new skit they produce.
    Turkish President's bodyguards unleash on protesters in Washington DC

    Turkish President's bodyguards unleash on protesters in Washington DC

    Videos show people pushing past police to confront a small group of protesters across the street. Washington Police Chief Peter Newsham said 11 people and one police officer were injured.
  • Oil prices up 2% after deal to extend supply cut

    Oil prices up 2% after deal to extend supply cut

    Amid the cutbacks, production in the USA , which isn't part of the agreement, has risen to the highest level since August 2015. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia's oil minister indicated that his country would back an extension to the cap.
    Numis Securities Ltd Reaffirms Buy Rating for Schroders plc (SDR)

    Numis Securities Ltd Reaffirms Buy Rating for Schroders plc (SDR)

    According to the analyst this now indicates there is a potential decrease of -0.25% from Worldpay Group's current price of 315.8. Since November 16, 2016, it had 0 insider purchases, and 5 selling transactions for $23.83 million activity.
    May pledges to tackle 'giant challenges' with Tory manifesto

    May pledges to tackle 'giant challenges' with Tory manifesto

    It said measures would be taken against rail bosses, landlords and lawyers, without providing details. But there are signs that Brexit could already be biting the economy, such as quickening inflation.