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World braces for more cyberattacks

17 Mai 2017

The WannaCry ransomware attack hit 10,000 organizations and companies in more than 100 countries on Friday. The ransomware locks up the computer with the group which carried out the attack asking for $300 payment in bitcoins to send an unlock key. And while Microsoft said it had already released a security update to patch the vulnerability one month earlier, the sequence of events fed speculation that the NSA hadn't told the USA tech giant about the security risk until after it had been stolen.

Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, EC3, said in a statement today that the attack was "at an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits".

The company claimed it "successfully detected" the ransomware activity and "cleaned the malicious file responsible for file encryption from all the attacked systems".

In a blog post published Sunday, Microsoft president Brad Smith criticized world leaders for stockpiling vulnerabilities to computer systems.

There are reports some organizations in Canada have been affected but are keeping a low profile about the impact on their systems. When he registered the domain it triggered a "kill switch" that prevented many instances of the virus from spreading. Consequently, Microsoft should investigate the unsafe flaw in its system.

Those who use Apple's Mac computers are not at risk of the recent ransomware attack.

The malware paralyzed computers in factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems, hitting 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries by Monday.

Microsoft said the situation was "painful" and that it was taking "all possible actions to protect our customers".

The "WannaCry" malware exploits a hole in outdated Windows operating systems.

Microsoft issued a patch it labeled critical in March that firms should have immediately downloaded for all their computers, instead of waiting for their regular updating cycle of every 60 to 90 days, he said. Though the theft was publicly reported in April, Smith attacked the NSA for "hoarding these vulnerabilities" and failing to inform the tech giant and the public about the stolen malware beforehand. New variations of the ransomwar have popped up without the Achilles heel and bearing the name Uiwix, according to researchers at Heimdal Security. The exchanges told members that they will have to ensure that all workstations and servers have the latest Microsoft patch. "(Which is a shame, because that would have meant computers would have been patched earlier)".

The cross-border police agency Europol said the situation was now stable, defusing concerns that attacks that struck computers in British hospital wards, European auto factories and Russian banks would spread further at the start of the working week.

"The NHS wasn't targeted", he wrote.

Officials who opened the computer at the Thariyode panchayat office in the hilly district of Wayanad found that four of their computers had been hacked.

World braces for more cyberattacks