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WannaCry: An global Cyber-attack that spread across the globe over night
19 May 2017, 09:40 | Patty Hardy
WannaCry didn't leave an impact on India, says IT Minister
But he also blamed the governments.
The country is on high alert monitoring critical networks across sectors like banking, telecom, power and aviation to ensure that systems are protected against the attack that has claimed victims in more than 150 countries over the weekend. Those include a known and highly risky security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn't apply Microsoft's March software fix, and malware created to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks. It effectively takes the computer hostage and demands a US$300 (S$418.95) ransom, to be paid in 72 hours with bitcoin.
"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said in a blog post on Sunday, comparing the recent leaks of NSA and Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools to, in the real world, the theft of cruise missiles.
The problem is that once those vulnerabilities become public, they can be used by others. EternalBlue exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft's implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.
The argument that it's the NSA's fault has merit, according to Mr Alex Abdo, staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
"Even though it's becoming harder and harder, the incentives have increased tremendously", said Mador, who previously worked on security response at Microsoft. "When a design flaw is discovered in a auto, manufacturers issue a recall".
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Michael Scott, a professor at Southwestern Law School, said Microsoft sells software under a licensing agreement that states the company is not liable for any security breach. A lot of organisations and individuals in India still rely on the Windows XP. The malware primarily targeted users of Windows XP, which was launched by Microsoft in 2001.
The price increases come as privately held security firm Trustlook Inc. has perhaps beaten its large, listed competitors to market with the release of a new free scanner and vaccine toolkit to help protect Windows computers that are either vulnerable to WannaCry or have been infected with it.
"More action is needed, and it's needed now", he said. Usually, there are many different patches that need to go into the environment.
"MNCs, banks, telecom and big IT firms are prepared to deal with such attacks as they have got their cyber policy in place by installing latest updates, anti-virus software and firewall".
Others subsequently confirmed the Google researcher's work. "Unfortunately, most people don't have them", Abrams says. "To keep the world safe, these things have to be done". As he said, there's no point in providing a pointer to potential hackers. "Occasionally mistakes happen", he added.
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