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Follow CERT-In instructions on WannaCry attack
20 May 2017, 09:15 | Bernard Bryant
However in light of the seriousness of the WannaCry attack, Microsoft issued a rare security update for all of its legacy platforms - Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003 - including those on custom support only. This software, which Microsoft released in 2001, was one of the most common operating systems of the 2000s. It effectively takes the computer hostage and demands a $300 ransom, to be paid in 72 hours with bitcoin. "Still, the NSA can't be very proud of this".
But there was no fix initially for Windows XP, an operating system which many customers continue to use notwithstanding its end-of-life status. This makes the attacks powerless in your organisation.
Microsoft says the outbreak of WannaCry ransomware on 12 May reveals why governments shouldn't stockpile software vulnerabilities.
In a blog post, he said: 'An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the United States military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.
The ACLU, meanwhile, urged Congress to pass a law requiring the government to disclose vulnerabilities to companies "in a timely manner", so that they can patch them as soon as possible. "There are plenty of reasons people wait to patch and none of them are good".
The U.K. government's cyber office put it succinctly: "T$3 he way these attacks work means that compromises of machines and networks that have already occurred may not yet have been detected, and that existing infections from the malware can spread within networks".
"Even though it's becoming harder and harder, the incentives have increased tremendously", said Mador, who previously worked on security response at Microsoft.
Global software giant Microsoft could have prevented the WannaCry ransomware from reaching epidemic proportions globally and become a hero for millions of people, but lure of monetary gain stopped it from taking the right decision.
If you happen to be running older OSes, it's best to immediately patch your system and then upgrade to Windows 10, the latest version that is supported on a regular basis.
Microsoft should know that there are people, small businesses, schools and hospitals that still use older version of Windows, such as XP (which came out in 2001). "Because they could have done something ages ago to get this problem fixed, and they didn't do it".
Microsoft has recognized the risk cyber security poses to it since about 2002, when Bill Gates, the former chief executive, issued a call to arms inside the company after a wave of malicious software began infecting Windows PCs connected to the internet. He noted, however, the complexity that can be involved in patching a security hole.
As companies and individuals take stock Monday morning, the focus is turning to protecting against further attacks. The other is to disable a type of software that connects computers to printers and faxes, which the virus exploits, O'Leary added. The idea behind ransomware is simple: no one is willing to pay as much as you for your data.
Michael Mitchell, spokesman for Oreo cookie maker Mondelez International, said the company is not aware of any incidents from the attack, though it did alert employees. The ATM machines are updated typically once in 15 days that is when the maintenance engineers visit the sites, they carry the latest software patch with them.
The virus spread quickly because the culprits used a digital code believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency - and subsequently leaked as part of a document dump, according to researchers at the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.
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