Tech

CREDIT SUISSE: The WannaCry ransomware attack could give Microsoft's stock a boost

CREDIT SUISSE: The WannaCry ransomware attack could give Microsoft's stock a boost

Some of the NSA's defenders are quick to blame computer owners and IT administrators for not keeping their software current, but less likely to blame Microsoft for writing insecure code, alienating customers with shoddy operating systems and planned obsolescence, or dropping support for older OSes still in wide use. 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.

As for Microsoft, some intelligence agency experts questioned its NSA criticism, saying it's unreasonable for the company to ask governments to stop using its products as a way to attack and monitor enemies. Brad Smith, Microsoft's chief counsel, said Sunday in a company blog post that the practice of hoarding so-called zero-day exploits (so called because it's not publicly reported or announced before it is used) leads to attacks like WannaCry. World-affecting extortionists might be able to find the attention of the authorities through minimal effort and maximum casualties, as is evidenced with the WannaCry spread of ransomware.

Over the last few days, the global ransomware attack WannaCry infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files. American officials said Monday that they had seen the same similarities. These types of infection usually exploit vulnerabilities in networks using Trojan links, seemingly innocuous attachments that deceptively contain a malicious ransomware. But in this case, according to Kaspersky Lab, the shared code was removed from the versions of WannaCry that are now circulating, which reduces the likelihood of such a "false flag" attempt at misdirection. Indeed, the Guardian reports that "the similarities were first spotted by Google security researcher Neal Mehta and echoed by other researchers including Matthieu Suiche from UAE-based Comae Technologies".

Ryan O'Leary, vice president of WhiteHat Security's threat research center, points out that this weekend's hackers weren't asking for much, usually about $300. The group behind the Sony attack was the Lazarus Group. But these two agendas, of militarism, absolute secrecy, and software profit maximization create an environment that allows something like WannaCry to stomp all over the globe, hobbling hospitals and train stations in its wake.

Interpol thinks that more than 200,000 people in more than 150 countries were affected - and things could get worse.

Union: Up to 40K walking off the job at AT&T this weekend
In addition, 19,000 wireline workers and DirecTV technicians in California , Nevada and CT are preparing for a strike as well. The wireline and DirecTV workers have been without a new contract for over a year and held a one-day strike in March.

The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about Dollars 300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device. Then, just as quickly as it started, the attack was stalled by a 22-year-old British cybersecurity researcher who discovered a "kill switch" that stopped the ransomware from spreading.

The recent worldwide "WannaCry Ransomware attack", which hit several countries and left victims locked out of their PCs with a promise to restore access if a sum of money was paid, is the latest trending topic on most chats and social conversations.

Firstly, we would like to mention the Windows versions that are by far and large under the assault of WannaCry. "(The unit has since been renamed.)", according to the Times.

This is an emerging pattern in 2017. "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".

"When a design flaw is discovered in a vehicle, manufacturers issue a recall".


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