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20 May 2017, 01:24 | Patty Hardy
Many people in fact believe someone at NSA must have tipped Microsoft that the files had been stolen, which is how it knew it needed to push out that particular patch, said Ryan Kalember of Proofpoint, a Sunnyvale, Calif. -based security firm whose researchers were instrumental in fighting the the WannaCry attack. Encourage employees who do work from home to use only secure wifi networks and to keep their antivirus and anti-malware software up-to-date. It's crucial that customers allow their computers to automatically patch themselves when patches are issued.
Microsoft is telling a different story, accusing US intelligence of "stockpiling" coding which offers an invitation to hackers to get into systems.
"They knew about this flaw in USA software, US infrastructure, hospitals around the world, these auto plants and so on and so forth, but they did not report it to Microsoft until after the NSA learned that that flaw had been stolen by some outside group", the former Central Intelligence Agency contractor noted, according to a Newsweek transcript. After three days, the $300 ransom increases to $600.
"We need the tech sector, customers, and governments to work together to protect against cybersecurity attacks".
The government is not legally bound to notify at-risk companies. Was it Microsoft's fault for no longer supporting Windows XP and other software, was it the NSA's fault for having their weapon stolen, was it the NHS's fault for running outdated software or someone else?
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"The attack is not focused on any particular industry but is widely spread, especially across those organisations, which are online and connected, ' Quick Heal Technologies" managing director Sanjay Katkar said. No company - or hospital, or university, or individual - asks to be the victim of cybercrime, but there are also things companies can do to prevent the attacks from succeeding. For your system to become infected, you'll have to click on or downloading the attachment or file, which causes the program to run and infect your computer with ransomware. Multiple backups also help.
But Scott Vernick, a data security lawyer at Fox Rothschild that represents companies, said he was skeptical that WannaCry would produce a flood of consumer lawsuits.
The virus exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by United States intelligence.
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