Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Global Ransomware Attack: Outbreak Disrupts IT Systems Worldwide


The patch by the Microsoft will not work on such a system, making India possibly among the worst affected, ' said Dinesh O Bareja, a cyber security expert.

However, the global media suggest that there were few fresh attacks in parts of Asia and Europe on the day.

The virus swept computers running on Microsoft Windows Operating System, especially those not now supported such as Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

British media were hailing as a hero a 22-year-old computer security whiz who appeared to have helped stop the attack from spreading by discovering a "kill switch" - a domain which halted the virus when activated. In the United Kingdom, where the initial attack threw parts of the health care system into chaos Friday, the government scheduled an emergency meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the attack. In China alone, computers at 29,000 institutions and organisations were affected.

It crippled Britain's National Health Service; patients expecting scheduled operations were turned away.

British health minister Jeremy Hunt said on Monday it was "encouraging" that a predicted second spike of attacks had not occurred, but the ransomware was a warning to public and private organisations. "We have been in touch with Microsoft and others.even they have not got any reports", Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), director general, Sanjay Bahl told PTI.

Almanthari said that there was nothing to worry as the situation in the country is under control and as "only one case has been reported at the sultanate in one of the government organization with a few number of systems have been infected with the virus". We have issued an alert on our Knowledge Base site providing step-by-step instructions for our customers to ensure they are protected.

Microsoft distributed the patch two months ago, which 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.

Now they are asking anything between Rs. 19,000 to Rs. 39,000 in India in form of Bitcoins in order to decrypt the data back.

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More importantly, security experts have always said the countries in the region are highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks and have asked them to step up measures to avoid such instances.

This large-scale cyber-attack was launched on Friday where researchers observed 57,000 infections.

The countries most affected by WannaCry were the same as Friday: Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine and India, Avast's data showed. This is above world trends; 42 per cent of respondents in the region said they had suffered high or medium level damage to their reputation as a result of cyber-attacks, compared to 30 per cent globally.

The WannaCry ransomware appears to only attack unpatched computers running Windows 10.

Furthermore, credentials of 20,000 GCC employees were compromised and leaked online a year ago.

Earlier in the day, central transmission utility Power Grid said it has put sufficient firewalls to deal with the global cyber attack Ramsomware and consumers need not fear sudden outages on that account.

Microsoft president Brad Smith said this is a wake-up call for governments of the world.

"This is an emerging pattern in 2017". Smith compared the leak of NSA exploits to the theft of missiles from the American military, pointing to the WikiLeaks dump of Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools. An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.

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