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Hackers steal another cyber weapon from American spy agency

18 Mai 2017

A hooded man holds laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. The hackers behind WannaCry only accept ransom paid via BitCoin, a digital currency that ensures that the transaction can not be traced.

If the user detects the malware within seconds after running it, he must power off the machine, then use an external boot disk to boot the machine and run a cleaner tool to prevent the ransomware from encrypting all his files.

The badly affected National Health Service said seven out of 47 trusts that were hit were still facing serious issues.

"It's likely because our systems are more sophisticated in protecting against cyberattack", said Michael Figueroa, executive director of the Advanced Cyber Security Center, a Boston-based consortium of local universities and corporations that share information about the latest digital security threats.

"In light of today's attack, Congress needs to be asking [the NSA] if it knows of any other vulnerabilities in software used in our hospitals", he wrote. "Unfortunately, most people don't have them", Abrams says.

The ransomware attack highlighted the widespread use of pirated Microsoft software around the world, including in China and Russian Federation.

"We have reached a turning point where it is not sustainable for governments to think they can retain vulnerabilities for very long", said Ari Schwartz, who oversaw technology security issues at the National Security Council during the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, "WannaCrypt" locked up machines, encrypted files and demanded approximately $600 in Bitcoin for a recovery key.

"And then there are those who believe there are essential things that should not be given up in the name of security, even if that extends to inadvertently creating protections for the bad guys". It's also possible, according to ProofPoint, that the attackers didn't mean to release the malware this soon, or this broadly, and were just as surprised at its rapid spread as everyone else.

But even now, security experts aren't certain how the WannaCry infection was spread.

For all the worldwide chaos they have caused, the ransomware attack's perpetrators have reportedly made little more than less than $70,000, according to Tom Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.

If the criminals were smart, Heilman said, they'd have asked for payment in the form of gift cards from retail stores. It is the most high-profile cyber-attack. In 2015, Microsoft got $9 million in a year from the Navy for continuing the Windows XP support.

"Our banks may be affected in a couple of hours".

"There is no major impact in India unlike other countries".

"If GCHQ develop malware to exploit weaknesses in operating systems, they should also develop an antidote that can be administered immediately if it gets into the wrong hands". Those who didn't pay heed to the Windows XP patch are the ones who have fallen prey to the world's biggest ransomware attack.

Governments "need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world", Smith says, urging agencies to "consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits".