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Microsoft was hoarding patches for WannaCry exploit

17 Mai 2017

Senior U.S. security officials held another meeting in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency were working to help mitigate damage and identify the perpetrators of the massive cyber attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. However, personal computers could also be at risk. After decrypting a few files to prove what happened, it then presents a ransom demand: "Pay now, if you want to decrypt ALL your files!"

"The Maharashtra police department is partially affected due to the ransomware and the cyber experts have rushed to fix the systems in time", a senior police officer said on the condition of anonymity. The exploit was leaked last month as part of a trove of US spy tools.

A hacking group called Shadow Brokers released the malware in April claiming to have discovered the flaw from the NSA, Kaspersky said.

Windows users should update their software to avoid the ransomware, security experts say. Hardest hit have been users of old and outdated operating systems, which in many cases included specialized applications.

The malware hit more than 200,000 targets in 150 countries since Friday and might worsen if computer systems aren't updated to the latest Windows versions. One of the most notable infections took down a large portion of the United Kingdom's National Health Service. "Ambulances are being diverted to neighbouring hospitals". In Russia, where the Interior Ministry was hit by WannaCry, some suggested that the attack was a USA retaliation for Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. Microsoft had issued a patch on March 14, but many computers hadn't run the update. That prompted the company to issue another patch on Friday for older and unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP, allowing users to secure their systems without requiring an upgrade to the latest operating software.

Vernick said businesses that failed to update their software could face scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which has previously sued companies for misrepresenting their data privacy measures.

Earlier, Google's Neel Mehta had tweeted to indicate there is shared code between known Lazarus tools and the WannaCry ransomware.

Monday was expected to be a busy day, especially in Asia which may not have seen the worst of the impact yet, as companies and organizations turned on their computers. Install Microsoft's patch. 3. It's a good idea to back up files to a drive that remains entirely disconnected from your network.

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 hackers remain anonymous for now, but it appears that they are amateurs. A security researcher who goes by the name MalwareTech has activated a sort of kill-switch in WannaCry that stops it from spreading.

Also, copycat variants of the malicious software behind the attacks have begun to spread, according to experts. But there are obviously many, many computers out there and some people still, I feel, will not think that they need to patch their computer, so if an attack like this occurs again, there will still be infections'. "In the biggest ransomware outbreak so far, over 100.000 computers are believed to have been infected from Russian Federation to Taiwan, including in institutions such as Telefonica, FedEx, Deutsche Bahn and the NHS". And WannaCry threatens to create even more havoc on Monday when people return to work. You see, an agency of our own government - the NSA - knew about the exploit, and rather than alert Microsoft, it chose to stockpile it for intelligence purposes.

Microsoft was hoarding patches for WannaCry exploit