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Microsoft criticises NSA's role in the global cyber attack
19 May 2017, 10:21 | Patty Hardy
However, the evidence is not conclusive.
The so-called WannaCry hack takes advantage of a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows, leveraging an exploit stolen from the NSA in April to lock the computer systems of companies ranging from hospitals to vehicle manufacturers in exchange for ransom. The hack highlighted the vulnerability the spy agency faces, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars to ramp up its own cybersecurity since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed internal agency files on its eavesdropping programs in 2013.
He also says that as there is no central repository to know what operating system many ATMs run, it would be hard to get the number of machines which are prone to this particular attack.
After the Andhra police announced that it was affected over the weekend, the Maharashtra police also said that some of its computers were locked out by the attack. An Ernst & Young consultant told Mint that a public sector banks ATMs had been affected by the attack.
Despite the apparent lack of impacts by the WannaCry attacks to this point, ransomware targets in Utah are on the rise, he said, with cybercriminals collecting around $22,000 from 22 victims in the state a year ago.
The WannaCry attack "bore some striking similarities to the code used in those three attacks". According to some security experts, Indian companies widely use pirated, outdated software. Moreover, in addition to Symantec, researchers at Google and Kaspersky Lab confirmed the coding similarities, the Times reports.
Because it's possible for the perpetrators to alter the code to use a different domain, MalwareTech and others warned the ransomware could continue spreading. But in this case, according to Kaspersky Lab, the shared code was removed from the versions of WannaCrypt that are now circulating, which reduces the likelihood of such a "false flag" attempt at misdirection.
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On Monday, the White House promised a fight against the Ransomware attack on 300,000 computers in 150-countries.
Thousands more infections were reported Monday, largely in Asia, striking computers that had been shut down before the malware first hit Europe early Friday. That means that there's no effective kill switch.
How did all of this get started? But it wasn't Shadow Brokers who were directly involved in the ransomware strike. "Our government, our businesses, our trade secrets and our citizens' most sensitive information are all facing constant cyberattacks...." "(The unit has since been renamed.)", according to the Times. The agency used its Facebook page and Twitter handle as well as the MyGov platform to spread the word, Bahl said.
The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) should shoulder some blame for the attack, which targets vulnerabilities in Microsoft Corp systems and has infected some 30,000 Chinese organizations as of Saturday, the China Daily said. This is an emerging pattern in 2017.
Then there's the US government, whose Windows hacking tools were leaked to the internet and got into the hands of cybercriminals. Therefore, when the vulnerabilities got into the wrong hands, it is akin to the "US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen" without the necessary defence to protect consumers. "And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today - nation-state action and organized criminal action".
Prevention is better than cure hence people are being advised to upgrade their system. Most importantly, such a convention would commit governments to turning over software vulnerabilities when they find them - rather than exploiting them to break into enemy computers - so that companies can patch them.
See, contrary to popular belief, Apple's desktops and laptops aren't inherently safer than those running Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows operating systems.
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