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Things to Know About the 'WannaCry' Ransomware Attack

Things to Know About the 'WannaCry' Ransomware Attack

Last Friday, stolen NSA malware was used to attack hospitals, universities, and businesses around the world, ultimately hitting hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries, including the US, reaching what Europol-Europe's leading police agency-described as an "unprecedented level". As of Sunday morning, more than 100,000 organizations in at least 150 countries had been affected. The company has more than 3,500 engineers who are working comprehensively to address cybersecurity threats.

"My answer is, never pay the ransom", Lawrence Abrams, a New York-based blogger who runs BleepingComputer.com told The Associated Press. The Windows vulnerability theft from the NSA is directly tied to WannaCry. Although Microsoft released a security fix in March, not all systems were updated and the virus spread by detecting those that were vulnerable. Most modern Windows PCs were automatically updated to prevent the exploit, but older computers - those running Windows XP, for example - are no longer routinely supported by Microsoft.

Darien Huss, a senior security research engineer at Proofpoint, warned that "a new attack" was a major concern following the first cyber assault.

Microsoft also blamed the USA government, calling the attack a "wake-up call", and pleading with the government to "stop stockpiling tools to exploit digital vulnerabilities". Reports have found businesses have been slow to update to Windows 10, but this attack may motivate them.

Smith's statement made no mention of pirated Microsoft software, users of which can not download the security patch.

US Released 2 Turkish Guards Yet Probe of 'Disturbing' Conduct Continues
The YPG says it is separate from the PKK, though Turkey does not accept this, and insists it does not want conflict with Ankara. Newsham said that Tuesday's scuffle wounded 11 people and one police officer, with nine receiving treatment at local hospitals.

The ransomware is spreading through email, and is evolving rapidly to attack more computers, including Apple devices. Ransomware often is downloaded through phishing emails.

Back up your important files. A Twitter bot tracking payments to Bitcoin wallets set up by Shadow Brokers reveals that dozens of people have paid the amount in Bitcoin. Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows system and spreads by exploiting vulnerabilities, it said. Victims have to contact the criminals for a decryption key to unlock their files.

Microsoft President Brad Smith, along with numerous cyber security experts, acknowledged that the attack leveraged a hacking exploit created by the U.S. National Security Agency, which was leaked online in April. The NSA allowed its data to be stolen from its servers by hackers to launch the biggest ransomware attack in history.

In a blog post, he said: "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".


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