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How the NHS cyber attack was halted by British blogger

17 Mai 2017

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein). A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack, as captured by a computer user in Taiwan, is seen on laptop in Beijing, Saturday, May 13, 2017. More than 200,000 computers have been affected so far.

A new ransomware named "Wannacry" is spreading globally that encrypts files on the infected Windows PCs.

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.

On Saturday, a report from Reuters indicated that the impact of the ransomware has been greatly reduced in recent hours due to the work of an unnamed UK-based researcher who worked to limit its spread.

EternalBlue could compromise all versions of Windows through a networking bug in SMBv1, and is the attack the WannaCry ransomware used to infect machines. The NSA tools were stolen by hackers and dumped on the internet.

Microsoft distributed a "fix" for the software vulnerability two months ago, but not all computer users and networks worldwide had yet made that update and thus were highly vulnerable.

The phenomenon of companies failing to update their systems has been a persistent security problem for years.

Consumers are also at risk.

Outside of the damage being done by blocking access to essential services, financial repercussions, and productivity slowdowns, this is an global incident that is likely causing diplomatic rifts with our allies.

Ambulances were diverted, operations cancelled and patients moved as hospitals were left without computer systems. Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx the USA and French carmaker Renault all reported troubles.

The security firm Kaspersky Lab, based in Russian Federation, noted that Microsoft had repaired the software problem that allows backdoor entry into its operating systems weeks before hackers published the exploit linked to the NSA, but also said: "Unfortunately it appears that many users have not yet installed the patch".

Trump's National Security Advisor: WannaCry Attack 'Under Control'
How many XP-powered PCs does that translate to? Microsoft , however, wasn't impressed with the latest attack. The agency is urging Indian victims to avoid paying the ransom and contact law enforcement for support.

Medical staff had reported seeing computers go down "one by one" as the attack took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data.

Russia's Interior Ministry acknowledged a ransomware attack on its computers.

The attacks have now raised questions about the use of old software by organisations, and why United Kingdom health services were using old versions of Windows without support agreements.

You can download the patch from Microsoft's blog post.

"That's not fun, but it's something you can do, and then restore the data from your stable reliable backups, and you're back up and running", he said. Install all Windows updates. 5. And while other attackers might use the same flaw, such attacks will be steadily less successful as organizations patch it.

None of the firms targeted indicated whether they had paid or would pay the hackers ransom.

The original attack lost momentum late on Friday after a security researcher inadvertently took control of a server connected to the outbreak, which crippled a feature that caused the malware to rapidly spread across infected networks.

But a 22-year-old blogger accidentally found a way to slow down the hack attack which wreaked havoc across 99 countries.

Europol, the pan-European Union crime-fighting agency, said the threat was escalating and predicted the number of "ransomware" victims was likely to grow across the private and public sectors as people returned to work on Monday.

China is one of the countries that has been hit hardest by the ransomware program known as "WannaCry" launched on 12 May, which infected over 230,000 computers in 99 countries in just one day.

The statement issued late Monday was perhaps the most detailed comment yet on the cyberattacks by Chinese authorities, who have said little about the contagion since it erupted on Friday even as reports emerged of widespread infection in China.

How the NHS cyber attack was halted by British blogger