At a time when hyper-targeted phishing attacks and sophisticated government-sponsored assaults represent the cutting edge of the battle over cyber security, the spread of the WannaCry ransomware looks like a blast from the past. The actors behind the attack, which have yet to be identified, then asked the victims for ransom money to "free" the infected computers.
Tom Bossert, White House assistant to the president for homeland security and terrorism, said the ransomware infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 nations. "One of the country's largest oil companies, PetroChina, reported the attack had disrupted its electronic payment systems at its gas stations over the weekend".
Some researchers have found evidence they say could link North Korea with the attack, but others are more cautious, saying that the first step is shedding light on even the most basic questions about the malware itself.
And so far, Levin said, the bitcoin that had been paid into the attackers' wallets remained there - compared to another campaign, known as Locky, which made $15 million while regularly emptying the bitcoin wallets.
In addition to Microsoft's Security Bulletin MS17-010 that patched the vulnerability in March, the company also issued a separate patch on Friday for users of older and unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP.
The last two hospital diverts put in place following the ransomware cyber attack were lifted in the early afternoon on Tuesday.
The only real security from ransomware is backups and solid security best practices. In general, there is no specific evidence that public sector organisations suffer cyber-attacks disproportionately.
University of Wisconsin - Madison Twitter hacked Wednesday morning
Officials at the University of Wisconsin have confirmed that someone was able to hack into the university's main Twitter account Wednesday.
Microsoft pulled security support for the operating system back in 2014, meaning that users were missing nearly three years of security updates. Still, he said, "Microsoft needs to admit that the 20th century is over, it's a much more hostile environment, and that hobbling the NSA won't make us any safer". The caller will trick you into installing malware on your machine.
In a blog post, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, likened the leak to a missile being stolen from the United States military: "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen". The problem has affected organizations and individuals running Windows XP, an older version of Windows that had some security faults that the ransomware exploited.
"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", Smith said. "There is this stream of liability that flows from the ransomware attack", he said.
WannaCry uses EternalBlue, which takes advantage of a vulnerability in the SMB protocol, to worm its way through local networks and online.
Security experts have warned that another attack is imminent, most likely on Monday, and could be unstoppable. "We are expecting it and have informed the banks, since most of our ATMs run on the windows operating system which is the operating system effected by WannaCry", Subhamangala added.
"As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems", he stated.
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