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What is WannaCry and should you pay the ransom?

17 Mai 2017

But some other technology industry executives said privately that it reflected a widely held view in Silicon Valley that the United States government is too willing to jeopardize internet security in order to preserve offensive cyber capabilities.

The attacks exploited a flaw in Windows. The attack primarily targeted users of Windows XP, an aging operating system for Microsoft.

With 200,000 victims across 150 countries, including the NHS from Friday's ransomware attack, the sheer speed and scale at which a cyber attack can manifest is phenomenal.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is blaming government agencies for a massive, new ransomware attack that affected hundreds of thousands of computers around the globe. The hackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft systems - uncovered and developed by the National Security Agency, then leaked online last month - to take control of computers and hold data for ransom. The U.S. government has not denied that.

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Microsoft criticized governments for stockpiling secret exploits of computer systems, calling the ongoing WannaCry ransomware attack a "wake-up call". He described what the WannaCry malware doing now and how it invades computers through an old loophole on Microsoft Windows. He said he was able to slow down the attack when he registered a domain name he found in the code of the Ransomware. He said governments need to consider the damage that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities.

Smith further wrote in the blog post that governments have to take a new approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world. He says that the updated version of the ransomware along with the other variants would continue to haunt computers all over the world. In Australia, Cyber Security Minister Dan Tehan warned that there will always be threats of cyber attacks despite measures to intensify the country's cyber security. A patch is a software used to correct any loophole in a programme including security vulnerabilities. Microsoft even released patches for computers still running on Windows Server 2003, Windows 8 and Windows XP but the patches will not help if the computers are already infected.

To ensure safety against any breach, this time, the IT ministry has reached out to key stakeholders like RBI, National Payments Corporation of India, NIC and UIDAI (Aadhaar) to protect the digital payments ecosystems against the "WannaCry" ransomware. And while Microsoft had already released a security update to patch the vulnerability one month earlier, the sequence of events fed speculation that the NSA hadn't told the US tech giant about the security risk until after it had been stolen.

What is WannaCry and should you pay the ransom?