Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

NETWORK SECURITY Huge, Unprecedented Ransomware Attack Hits Around the Globe


The State Bank of Vietnam on May 15 confirmed that no Vietnamese credit institutions were affected by the WannaCry ransomware.

Here's a look at how malware and ransomware work and what people can do if they fall victim to attacks.

Researchers around the globe have predicted that a second wave of ransomware attacks is likely anytime soon.

Low-end criminals take advantage of less-savvy users with such known viruses, even though malware is constantly changing and antivirus is frequently days behind detecting it.

Users who do not patch their systems and the Shadow Brokers were more directly responsible for the attack than NSA, they said. "Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information".

Prabir Sarkar, CEO of OfficeExtract, a local distributor of Kaspersky Lab, said, "We have so far received complaints from five types of medium enterprises in the country".

Mac or Linux users are at the moment safe from harm, but there remains a risk they could be infected via the intranet once a member computer is infected. Here's what you should do to protect yourself.

This ransomware, called WannaCry, encrypts a victim's files, demanding a bitcoin payoff if the target ever wants to see them again - caused widespread damage over the weekend. The government says that under a previous Labour administration the trusts that run local hospitals were given responsibility to manage their own computer systems.

Gov't issues warnings against WannaCry ransomware
Lots of users, particularly those who are overseas, don't use automatic updates and leave their systems vulnerable, he said. The malicious software has reportedly infected computers in up to a hundred countries and tried to extort users' money.

"This was not a tool developed by the NSA to hold ransom data", homeland security adviser Bossert said at Monday's White House briefing.

The White House said on Monday that under $70,000 (£54,000) had been paid in total in a bid to get any locked data released.

French automaker Renault and its partner, Nissan, say their plants were hit by the attack, NBC reports.

Bkav recommends that all computer users immediately install updates and security patches and hotfixes via Windows Update.

"Technology companies owe their customers a reliable process for patching security vulnerabilities", he said. Microsoft issued a security update in March that stops WannaCry and other malware in Windows 7. It gives incentives to hackers and pays for future attacks. The RBI has issued directions not to operate the ATMs without the updated Window platform.

For individuals, Goldstuck said: "You can not delay software updates to save data".

In a blog on Sunday, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith pointed out that the incident is a wake-up call for the governments of the world, and that it highlighted an emerging pattern wherein governments are stockpiling cyber vulnerabilities. It's important to avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in those messages, since they could unleash malware, Villasenor said. "They're just a huge organisation which has had insufficient investment in computer security over the years".

"Working through our Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) and Digital Crimes Unit, we'll also share what we learn with law enforcement agencies, governments, and other customers around the world", the software firm said.

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