WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack is a 'wake-up call', says Microsoft

Cesar Mills
May 19, 2017

We found out about it because a group of hackers, known as Shadow Brokers, in April released a cache of stolen NSA documents on the internet, including details about the WannaCry vulnerability. It's also called WannaCrypt.

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.

Shares in firms that provide cybersecurity services jumped on the prospect of companies and governments spending more money on defenses, led by Israel's Cyren Ltd and USfirm FireEye Inc. "Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past", it said.

Furthermore, Smith emphasized that governments' stockpiling of vulnerabilities is a problem.

Meanwhile, petrol stations in the western city of Chongqing were unable to accept card payments after systems at China National Petroleum Corp became infected, the South China Morning Post reported.

Bossert said less than $70,000 has been paid in response to the cyberattacks. "But at the same time, I also know that if you're someone who's been affected and you've lost all your children's photographs or you've lost all your data or you lost your thesis, sometimes $300 is worth it, you know?" "It'll never be flawless, but we can do better".

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Smith then likened the severity of the scenario to the "U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen". But that patch came two months after it issued similar ones that fixed the same flaw in more recent versions of Windows.

A United Kingdom -based security researcher who goes by the name MalwareTech put a stop to the spread of WannaCry on Friday by registering a domain name he discovered in the ransomware's code.

Frants Klintsevich, deputy chairman of the Russian Senate defense committee, called the cyberattack "an alarming signal, and not just a signal but a direct threat to the normal functioning of society, and important life-support systems", The New York Times reports, citing state-run Tass news agency. "They may be underweighting the cost of not patching, potentially leading to situations like this". The precedent may impact other software sellers too. He added that the rate of infection has slowed over the weekend. The confirmation message for payment is anonymously routed through the TOR network, so that no one has any idea who is behind the attack. But Villasenor said there is "no flawless solution" to the problem. "We need to use all the different controls we have together so that we can speed up our cycle". The same goes for cloud services, though they can be helpful. Prior to joining FCW, he was Kabul Correspondent for NPR, and also served as an worldwide producer for NPR covering the war in Libya and the Arab Spring.

The full extent of the damage from the cyberattack felt in 150 countries was unclear and could worsen if more malicious variations of the online extortion scheme appear.

Earlier on Monday, Chinese traffic police and schools reported they had been targeted as the attack rolled into Asia for the new work week, but no there were no major disruptions.

Other reports by GizPress

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