Ransomware attack should be wake-up call for governments

Ransomware attack should be wake-up call for governments

Hospitals, universities, manufacturers and government agencies in the U.K., China, Russia, Germany and Spain have all been affected.

Wainwright described the cyberattack as an "escalating threat".

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is warning people to remain vigilant in the wake of Friday's ransomware attack, which affected thousands of computers around the world.

British intelligence chiefs have warned that businesses must brace for further cyber attacks after the debilitating WannaCry virus swept through computers around the world in the past few days.

"The global reach is unprecedented".

The NHS was among hundreds of organisations affected around the world, with 47 trusts hit.

"If you look at who's been impacted by this virus, it's a huge variety across different industries and across worldwide governments", she said.

"Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past". The said virus that affected more than 150 countries over the week, is said to have demanded $300 as payment to restore the user's access to his own computer.

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According to the Pradipto Chakrabarty, Regional Director, CompTIA India, who was quoted by IE, the linking if Aadhar card to bank accounts, income tax and other information increased the threat at the surface. "If someone kidnaps your child, you may pay your ransom but there is no guarantee your child will return". The domain was not registered, so the virus simply moved on to new targets until a researcher bought it for $11. That is why WannaCry worked the way it did. 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.

Microsoft distributed a patch two months ago that could have forestalled much of the attack, but in many organizations it was likely lost among the blizzard of updates and patches that large corporations and governments strain to manage.

Companies and institutions are often slow to update their computers because it can screw up internal software that is built to work with a certain version of Windows.

NHS Digital said that 4.7 per cent of devices within the NHS use Windows XP, with the figure continuing to decrease.

"We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits", Smith wrote.

The most disruptive attacks were reported in the United Kingdom, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.

Medical staff reported seeing computers go down "one by one" as the Wanna Decryptor ransomware, also known as WannaCry, took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data. It demands users pay Dollars 300 worth of cryptocurrency Bitcoin to retrieve their files, though it warns that the payment will be raised after a certain amount of time.

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.