Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Another NSA Cyber Weapon Stolen By Hackers! Widespread Damage Expected

Another NSA Cyber Weapon Stolen By Hackers! Widespread Damage Expected

A decade-old form of malicious software known as ransomware has been making headlines after cybercriminals hijacked hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. Should I pay the ransom? In most cases, the malware infects computers through links or attachments through phishing emails.In view of this, the Noida police's Centre for Cyber Crime Investigation (CCCI) issued an advisory for residents on Tuesday."You must have read the news that recently computers in many countries have been attacked by a WannaCry Ransomware that encrypts the core system files of your computer and shuts down the operating system". The attacks highlight the challenges that organizations face with consistently applying security safeguards on a large scale. He says the attack "provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", noting that, earlier this year, WikiLeaks posted vulnerabilities that had been stored by the Central Intelligence Agency.

But it remains unclear how WannaCry got onto computers in the first place.

What can businesses and individuals do to protect themselves from ransomware?

Even security experts struggle to prioritise. WannaCry, which crippled high profile targets like Britain's National Health Service (NHS) and Spanish telecom Telefonica, includes a National Security Agency (NSA) exploit called EternalBlue, which the intelligence agency lost control of a year ago. The precedent may impact other software sellers too.

"Ransomware attack appears to be causing glitches at many ATMs that work on Random Access Memory". Although Microsoft released a security patch in March that closes the "WannaCry"/"WannaCrypt" hole, unsupported versions of Windows including the still broadly popular Windows XP were left vulnerable till last Friday, when it issued a belated patch for XP.

All people had to do to stay safe from WannaCry was update their software.

WannaCry is custom built for windows only. The hack used a technique purportedly stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency to target Microsoft's market-leading Windows operating system.

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The VNCERT said the ransomware is extremely unsafe as it is capable of stealing information and decrypting the entire system that has been infected.

Make sure you regularly back up your data. Also, download anti-virus apps only from reputable vendors like Kaspersky Lab, Bitdefender or Malwarebytes, Mr Kamden said.

What to do if my PC is infected by WannaCry? Also, look for obvious typos and grammatical errors in the body. If the device under attack has no screen, you'll get the message on the smartphone app you control it from.

When Microsoft sells software it does so through a licensing agreement that states the company is not liable for any security breaches, said Michael Scott, a professor at Southwestern Law School. The attack was eventually disarmed; however, experts warn that attackers could slightly modify the ransomware and launch another attack at any time. Or put it on a new computer.

Next, keep your apps updated.

For those running Windows 10 or Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 systems, which has automatic updates turned on, you'll remain protected from WannaCry. Backups often are also out of date and missing critical information. We increasingly are among the first responders to attacks on the internet. Other than that, there are some decryption tools that claim to decrypt the files that the ransomware have locked down. 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 he added that with WannaCry, people definitely should not pay the ransom.

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