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19 May 2017, 08:53 | Patty Hardy
If you're facing a ransom demand and locked out of your files, law enforcement and cybersecurity experts discourage paying ransoms because it gives incentives to hackers and pays for their future attacks.
Second, use state-of-the-art tools to protect the network against known and unknown malware and attacks.
Researchers are still puzzling out how WannaCry got started. That weakness was purportedly identified and stockpiled for use by the U.S. National Security Agency; it was subsequently stolen and published on the internet. As we detailed thoroughly on Monday, WannaCry is a risky trojan virus that infects Windows computers, encrypting almost all data in the process.
He said various other technical issues are also hindering digital transactions.
Staats and McDonnell said being aware of who is sending an email and not opening unexpected or suspicious attachments is a good way to avoid infection. Failure to pay would leave the data scrambled and likely beyond fix unless users had unaffected backup copies. If the victim refuses to pay, the amount will be doubled after three days. Security patches would be available for clients with older machines, but only if they paid for custom support agreements.
Although nobody knows who the Shadow Brokers are, various theories point to either a disgruntled insider or a group with ties to Russian Federation. According to a Twitter account that monitors those accounts, they've received only about 250 payments worth a total of slightly more than $72,000.
Indeed, there have been no reports of anyone getting their files back, despite almost 170 payments (about USA $50,000 at the time of writing) having been made to the bitcoin wallets associated with the ransomware. But they could all be drawing conclusions from a very small set of clues.
WannaCry should not have reached disastrous proportions - Microsoft released a patch that could close the vulnerability in March, well before the NSA's tool was released in usable form. USA and European officials did not rule out North Korea as a possible suspect in the cyberattack. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.
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As the payment is made in Bitcoins, the hackers remain anonymous, making it almost impossible for them to be caught by the authorities.
The stock market has reacted, causing shares to surge in security technology firms, and it is believed that the attack will lead to more sales of security products.
Ironically, the WannaCry hackers are likely to have a negative impact on the entire ransomware industry by taking this approach. That wasn't done here.
The malware spread quickly on Friday, with medical staff in the United Kingdom reportedly seeing computers go down "one by one".
Microsoft had released a patch for the vulnerability earlier this year, but many systems that had not installed the updates were hit. It's possible that some data that wasn't backed up could be lost.
The WannaCry pandemic is thus a win-win situation for Microsoft, which will only end up minting more money from the fiasco.
According to the Associated Press, thousands of new cases were reported in Asia on Monday. "It was kind of a noob mistake, if you ask me".
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