Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Microsoft issues WannaCry security patch for XP, blasts USA for 'stockpiling vulnerabilities'


To do all this, the software exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that is thought to have been first identified by the National Security Agency and was later leaked online.

Patch your computers. They should have the latest software update. It then tells the user that their files have been locked and displays information on how much is to be paid and when - payment is taken in Bitcoin. "Those who have Windows Update enabled are protected against attacks on this vulnerability".

Malware cases have been spreading in recent years as the malicious software trend has been gaining ground, with new forms of ransomware hitting the scene.

A worldwide WannaCry (also known as WannaCrypt) ransomware attack that wreaked havoc in United Kingdom hospitals and Russian telecom networks, could resurface today as workers return to the office, experts have warned.

Microsoft had released a patch in March to counter WannaCrypt ransomware, the company also issued a prompt update on Friday to Windows Defender to detect the WannaCrypt attack.

Though the worm is primarily affecting business, individuals with PCs running Windows should still take a few precautions. "We are expecting it and have informed the banks since most of our ATMs run on the windows operating system which is the operating system effected by WannaCry", Subhamangala added.

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Apple's Mac computers were not targeted by this ransomware attack so are clear.

The People's Daily reported speculation that the attack was meant to target the Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing over the weekend, but Chinese officials haven't confirmed or denied this.

On Friday, a security researcher inadvertently created a "kill switch" to help stop the spread of this ransomware.

The hackers remain anonymous for now, but it appears that they are amateurs. That way, if your machine gets infected and your photos and documents are encrypted, you don't need to worry about losing them.

Once your system has ransomware, your choices are limited: pay or don't pay. Experts are warning that many office workers could return to work Monday and find their computers compromised.

But more than 7 percent of the world's computers are powered by Windows XP, which Microsoft didn't offer a fix for until last week, after the attack began to spread.

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