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19 May 2017, 09:58 | Patty Hardy
WannaCry infected more than 300,000 computers with ransomware, and the malware's most unsafe feature wasn't even the fact that it encrypted the user's personal files asking for ransom in Bitcoin. According to Kaspersky Lab, the four most affected countries were Russia, Ukraine, India and Taiwan. The malware locked down computers and threatened businesses and individuals of wiping out files from systems in a week's time if the victim did not pay a ransom between 300 to 600 dollars.
"The difference this time is that the virus attack is getting publicity".
"It uses the hacking tools recently disclosed by the NSA and which have since been fixed by Microsoft in a more stealthy manner and for a different goal", he said.
"I'm anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn on their machines on Monday", Europol director Rob Wainwright told Britain's ITV television.
"I would say the real-world impact of this attack is going to be more substantial than WannaCry", Kalember told ABC News.
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.
Once WannaCry is inside an organisation it locates vulnerable machines and infect them as well.
They thought that they did everything that they could to defend their systems, but wannacry disabled many institutions so fast that in the countries most affected, many hospitals were unable to function even though their IT systems are usually the best when it comes to security.
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WannaCry has proven so nasty and ubiquitous that Microsoft took the unusual step of releasing security fixes for long-abandoned operating systems, including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, since they are still widely used in some corners of the world and WannaCry has been a worldwide problem. "Ransomware is painful, but you can restore operations relatively quickly".
They exploited a flawless storm of factors - the Windows hole, the ability to get ransom paid in digital currency, poor security practices - but it's unclear if the payoff, at least so far, was worth the trouble. The flaw will only be fixed in Google's next OS update - Android "O". Until a payment is made all files hosted on infected computers remain encrypted and effectively inaccessible.
As the technology surrounding the Internet of Things evolves, additional security layers will have to be incorporated in order to mitigate any vulnerabilities arising out of such complex connectivity. They were faced with the most devastating attack on IT systems that they had ever seen. Then there are those built on top of a platform of pirated software.
Let's just put it this way.
You're hosed. Sorry. Up to you whether you want to pay the ransom, but the little ray of sunshine is that, if you do pay, you'll get your files back.
"You can point a lot of fingers, but I think given that this was not a zero-day vulnerability (for which no patch is available), the people hacked are to blame", said Robert Cattanach, a partner at the global law firm Dorsey & Whitney and an expert on cybersecurity and data breaches.
The attack could cost the government and corporate organisations north of $4billion in bitcoin as there is still no certainty as to whether the attacks have been completely mitigated or a second wave might send some more shocks.
"If customers have automatic updates enabled or have installed the update, they are protected". However, it was these outdated ATM systems that were the least impacted.
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