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emfizz.com August 20, 2017


All You Need To Know About WannaCry Ransomware

19 May 2017, 10:37 | Patty Hardy

Very few local individuals, businesses and/or organizations are vulnerable to the so-called "WannaCry" ransomware attack that hit much of the world over the weekend, but experts say it serves as a good reminder to always be vigilant about how computers, smartphones, and tablets are used.

Proofpoint said in a blog that symptoms of the attack include loss of access to shared Windows resources and degradation of PC and server performance, effects which some users may not notice immediately.

This story doesn't feel too surprising. A person who saw the pricing told the paper the fee increased to $1,000 per device. But is the public sector really any worse than the private sector at keeping its IT security up to date and avoiding cybercrime?

He was critical about the casual approach adopted by government sectors where old machines were still in use with nearly zero backup and no patches were ever applied making them open to such cyber threats. Download the latest security and anti-malware software right here on FileHippo - all for free. "Indian organizations are also vulnerable due to a lot of them using outdated (or not updated) versions of operating systems for business operations". Subsequently, Microsoft has released a patch specifically for older operating systems (including Windows XP) that are vulnerable to WannaCry. In 2014, the year support for XP ended, the software provider charged $200 per device, and that jumped to $400 per device in 2015.

The most likely reason that out-of-date systems are still being used is the cost of upgrading them. On May 12, some NHS services had to turn away non-critical emergencies and some ambulances were diverted. It is a real wake-up call for organisations that hold sensitive medical or personal information as to the devastating impact an attack can have.

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So far the attack has crippled government services in India, Russia, Canada, Columbia, Indonesia, Slovakia, Romania and several others, and corporates like FedEx, Hitachi, Nissan, Sandvik, Renault and more. "You've got a really interesting attack vector".

The Australian Cyber Security Centre ("ACSC") issued urgent advice on 13 May 2017 (which it updated on 15 May 2017) to mitigate against the effects of WannaCry. There are government-backed initiatives to help small companies with cybersecurity, such as the UK's Cyber Essentials, but these don't have the scale to reach everyone or even identify and help those most in need.

A young cyber security researcher had accidentally found the kill switch of the ransomware by sheer luck and purchased an unregistered domain name for $10.69 in order to stop the attack.

Australia's corporate regulator, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, has repeatedly made it clear that, (see here and here) as part of the directors' discharge of their statutory duties, it is ultimately the responsibility of the directors to be aware of the risks and ensure the organisation's technology and computers are safeguarded against potential cyber-attacks. Getting people to understand how is still a serious challenge.

Kolkata: The country is least prepared to tackle the ransomware virus "WannaCry" because of the low level of awareness about malicious software, a senior official looking after West Bengal's IT security said on Wednesday.



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