Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Trump's National Security Advisor: WannaCry Attack 'Under Control'

Trump's National Security Advisor: WannaCry Attack 'Under Control'

Michael Gazeley, of Network Box, a Hong Kong-based cyber-security firm, told Reuters there were still "many "landmines" waiting in people's inboxes", adding that his firm had detected a new version that infected users directly via a malicious link on hacked websites.

The government on Monday tried to allay fears over the impact of the cyber-attack that hit businesses and institutions in 150 countries across the globe on India.

The ransomware took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

The WannaCry software infected computers operating on Microsoft and displayed messages demanding users to pay $300 in bitcoin - type of digital currency widely used online.

Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith blamed the NSA's practice of developing hacking methods to use against the USA government's own enemies.

The attack followed the leak earlier this year of a batch of cyber weapons built by the United States National Security Agency (NSA).

The argument that it's the NSA's fault has merit, according to Alex Abdo, staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

"The government's response has been chaotic", Labour's health spokesman Jon Ashworth said.

South Korea: Four companies reported problems over the weekend.

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Microsoft officials say they patched the flaw months ago.

Microsoft said it had released a Windows security update in March to tackle the problem involved in the latest attack, but many users were yet to run it. The company had already been supporting it longer than it normally would have because so many customers still used it and the effort was proving costly. But some other technology industry executives said privately that it reflected a widely held view in Silicon Valley that the USA government is too willing to jeopardise internet security in order to preserve offensive cyber capabilities.The NSA did not respond to requests for comment.The NSA and other intelligence services generally aim to balance disclosing software flaws they unearth against keeping them secret for espionage and cyber warfare purposes. It is time for the rest of us to lift our heads from the sand. That could saddle the company with the XP albatross for many years past when it hoped to be free from having to maintain the software. "There is no major impact in India unlike other countries". "That's going to become a more common practice".

The second notable point about the WannaCry worm is that it was able to spread so far, and so fast.

Experts suspect that the next wave of attacks will be subjected to the banking sector.

Some security researchers speculated that if the perpetrators were North Korean, the goal may have been to cause a widespread internet outage to coincide with this weekend's latest missile test.

As for Microsoft, some intelligence agency experts questioned its NSA criticism, saying it's unreasonable for the company to ask governments to stop using its products as a way to attack and monitor enemies.

The latest virus attack last week exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by United States intelligence. "To keep the world safe these things have to be done".

"Once they're let out of the lamp, genies of this kind, especially those created by intelligence services, can later do damage to their authors and creators", he said.

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