Cyber attack a wake up call

Angelica Greene
May 20, 2017

The NSA exploit codes were leaked earlier this year by the Shadow Brokers hacking group which had previously been offering the United States government cyber weapons in exchange for millions of dollars in Bitcoin. Install Microsoft's patch. 3.

"WannaCry" infected computers are frozen and display a big message in red informing users, "Oops, your files have been encrypted!" and demanding about $300 in online bitcoin payment. "Until this weekend's attack, Microsoft declined to officially confirm this, as US Gov refused to confirm or deny this was their exploit", wrote NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in a tweet.

The software company released security updates in March to address certain vulnerabilities that these WannaCry attacks are exploiting.

It comes in the form of an email attachment. In certain cases, the scam emails pretended to represent a bank alert about a money transfer, according to Cisco's Talos security group.

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But Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected claims the Government ignored warnings the health service was vulnerable, and said the Government was putting £2bn into cyber security. Encourage employees who do work from home to use only secure wifi networks and to keep their antivirus and anti-malware software up-to-date.

Fortunately, Friday's ransomware attack may have been contained.

Marcus Hutchins has been credited with stopping the WannaCry ransomware attack from spreading across the globe by accidentally triggering a "kill switch". But experts also warn that WannaCry's developers may be working on other versions that won't be easy to disable. Moreover, an operating system built over a decade and a half is not designed for modern hardware or sophisticated attacks that are expected in 2017. The longer victims pay, the longer ransomware will continue to grow, or at least that's what leading cyber security firms believe and it's why they advise against it.

Because it spreads through file-sharing technology built into the Windows software that powers most of the world's PCs, and because people are slow to update their computers, it's likely we'll be feeling the reverberations of this attack for some time. Rather, it targeted a newer digital currency called Monero, which experts say has been pursued recently by North Korea-linked hackers. It's possible that researchers will develop a free solution that can remove the infection.

Other reports by GizPress

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