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Ransomware attacks in 150 countries

17 Mai 2017

With global security reports counting India amongst the worst affected countries, public and private agencies have been working overtime to firewall their systems from any possible attack. "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.

"This is absolutely a wakeup call", he said.

"A protection system. needs to be worked out", he said.

Microsoft's chief legal officer Brad Smith wrote a blog post on Sunday warning about continued government surveillance practices.

Exploits in the hands of governments have repeatedly leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage, wrote Smith, who compared the leaks of Central Intelligence Agency and NSA vulnerabilities to the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Smith wrote.

Dowling notes that attacks like WannaCry ransomware should be expected with the technologically advanced world we live in.

But global fears eased on Monday as the number of incidents reported levelled off. Those who are running our free antivirus software and have Windows Update enabled, are protected.

WannaCry exploits a Windows vulnerability patched in March by Microsoft.

Internationally, China reported of 40,000 organisations being impacted, while the National Health Service of the United Kingdom was also hit badly.

In China, "hundreds of thousands" of computers at almost 30,000 institutions and organisations were infected by late Saturday, according to Qihoo 360, one of China's largest providers of antivirus software.

Although the hospital in Sterling Way, Edmonton wasn't hacked, the internet and internal email system was shut down on Friday and given a "robust overhaul" as a precaution to further attacks.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it has not been affected by the attack but Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust communications manager Roy Probert said the trust is still remaining vigilant.

First, the virus's file coder will encrypt the file of your system and secondly its displays a lock screen which will lock your computer and stops you from using it, until you pay them.

Hackers wanted their payment in the virtual currency Bitcoin, which is harder to trace.

"The very nature of this particular malware, this sort of ransomware attack, is very potent because unlike more routine ones this one has used a sort of worm to exploit the operating system and bolted on a ransomware so that it spread incredibly quickly in hours not weeks or days", Mr Wallace said.

But had it not been for a cybersecurity researcher and a programmer, the attack could have spread farther and faster.

Ransomware attacks in 150 countries