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

WannaCry is your fault — Microsoft to NSA

WannaCry is your fault — Microsoft to NSA

Because of the way WannaCry spreads sneakily inside organization networks, a far larger total of ransomed computers sitting behind company firewalls may be hit, possibly numbering upward of a million machines. But WannaCry's spread has been swift, with more than 200,000 computers at FedEx, Renault, the National Health Service (NSA) and other organizations spanning 150 countries falling prey to the ransomware. Those numbers were only expected to rise as people started their work week.

Our story, 'Ransomware' Affects Computers Worldwide explains more about the virus.

Even if your organization does not now believe that it has been affected by this virus, it should back up important files and install the latest Microsoft patches across its entire infrastructure where the Windows OS is used. "Since ransomware is on the rise and a tool of choice by cybercriminals, consumers should be on high alert for phishing schemes". That way, if a hacker locked down your computer, you could simply erase all the data from the machine and restore it from the backup. Expensive MRI machines used by the British National Health Service are a good example; medical equipment is likely to run antiquated systems - and is exposed to attacks delivered through the Internet.

After 72 hours, the $300 fee doubles. "Or do you notify the public to help defend everyone else and get less kudos?" If you don't pay within a week, the ransomware threatens to completely delete the files.

In the case of the WannaCry attack, it's still too soon to determine how much ransom actually has been paid to the attackers, contended Vikram Thakur, technical director at Symantec.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii introduced the legislation in the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. If your computer is attacked, you can wipe it clean, remove the ransomware and download the online backup. Since the late 1990s, the majority of industrial RF devices have used successive generations of Microsoft mobile operating systems, which allowed DCs to upgrade devices without changing their software applications. There is no greater illustration of that problem than what is happening right now across the world.

However, a bug in WannaCry code means the attackers can not use unique bitcoin addresses to track payments, security researchers at Symantec found this week. In short, don't turn off software updates button.

What do you need to do?

The recent deluge of ransomware is a warning shot for worse to come. If there is file in the attachment, do not click on it and delete the entire email.

The IT experts also said it's prudent to regularly back up your files because it means there is no leverage if someone holds your data ransom. Were you affected by WannaCry?

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United Kingdom hospitals are supposed to back up data frequently and at multiple locations.

Singapore ranks eighth in the Asia-Pacific region and 42nd globally in terms of ransomware attacks, with an average of 16 attacks a day, according to an industry study.

"If customers have automatic updates enabled or have installed the update, they are protected".

The cyber attack has been deemed as the biggest in history even as IT specialists suggest that the cyber criminals responsible have not made much monetary benefits. That way you can protect your data when another cyberattack occurs.

For larger businesses with hundreds or thousands of employees, applying security updates organizationwide can be hard. "However, a smaller business either can't afford it, doesn't know enough about it, or doesn't believe it can do anything about it anyway". But without the ability to receive security-focused software updates, those systems are left at risk.

"The one message I try to leave people with, including farmers, is when it comes to hackers and scammers, we are all Kim Kardashians". "You have to worry about this". You also have to be watching your own systems.

As agriculture continues to become more digitized, that vulnerability will only increase. Businesses should determine the best time to apply these security updates to office computers without interrupting productivity, he added. "That's going to be a really vulnerable place to be", Munro said.

"Consumers have to understand the fact that they are in partnership with business and government", Levin explains. We'll get to some tips in a minute.

"The government has to be far more forthcoming in sharing threat assessments with businesses", he says. The sobering experience of WannaCry must at least cause them to prioritize patching in a way that until now they have not.

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