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Microsoft Releases Emergency Security Update for Wanacrypt Ransomware

20 Mai 2017

Chinese media are reporting the virus attacked many university networks in China.

Hong Kong-based Ivezic said that the ransomware was forcing some more "mature" clients affected by the worm to abandon their usual cautious testing of patches "to do unscheduled downtime and urgent patching which is causing some inconvenience".

Since security professionals typically focus on building walls to block hackers from entering, security tends to be less rigorous inside the network.

Security researchers have been warning that this would happen for years now. "Or we could potentially see copycats mimic the delivery or exploit method they used".

Back up computers. This doesn't stop a computer from being attack but effectively renders it ineffective because it is easy to re-install the system from a backup should it become locked by ransomware. And, to the relief of many holding onto old versions of Windows, the update plays nice with some old school systems, too. Europol, the European Union's police agency, said the onslaught was at "an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits".

Microsoft wanted hefty fees of up to $1,000 a year from businesses for "custom" support and protection against attacks like WannaCry, which locks your computer unless you pay the hackers in bitcoin, said the publication. "Those who are running our free antivirus software or have Windows Update enabled, are protected".

The ransomware is spread by taking advantage of a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft released a security patch for in March.

Yesterday, computers around the world running earlier versions of Windows such as Windows XP (from 2001...) and Windows Server 2003 were impacted by a malicious vulnerability called "Wanacrypt". "So they no longer get the security updates they should be".

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An unidentified young cybersecurity researcher claimed to help halt WannaCry's spread by activating a so-called "kill switch".

"Malware that penetrates the perimeter and then spreads inside the network tends to be quite successful", said Johannes Ullrich, director of the Internet Storm Center at the SANS Institute.

Follow this link for live tracking of the malware attack. Aleksandr Yampolskiy, founder and chief executive of SecurityScorecard, told CNBC that Apple computers are also vulnerable as well. "The cat-and-mouse will likely continue until [someone] makes a larger change to the malware, removing the kill-switch functionality completely".

In the case of ATMs there is no data stored in the machine. The Windows vulnerability theft from the NSA is directly tied to WannaCry.

The identity of Shadow Brokers is unknown though many security experts believe the group that surfaced in 2016 is linked to the Russian government.

"There are other criminals who've launched this attack, and they are ultimately responsible for this", he said from his home in Oxford, England.

It's hard to blame Microsoft, Litan said, since it issued fixes and generally did what it should.