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Government activates mechanism to prevent cyber attack

19 Mai 2017

As of Sunday morning, more than 100,000 organizations in at least 150 countries had been affected, according to Europol, the European Union's police agency.

Meanwhile, "WannaCrypt" locked up machines, encrypted files and demanded approximately $600 in Bitcoin for a recovery key. The NHS was one of several organisations targeted, resulting in patients being turned away from A&E and operations being cancelled.

In the blog post, the group said it was setting up a "monthly data dump" and that it could offer tools to break into web browsers, network routers, phone handsets, plus newer exploits for Windows 10 and data stolen from central banks.

The cybercriminals spread the WannaCry ransomware by taking advantage of a Windows vulnerability, which was fixed by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) in March.

All the cases reported so far involve fragmented, and isolated systems or standalone machines, she stressed.

Urging businesses and computer users to keep their systems current and updated, Smith says the WannaCry attack shows the importance of collective action to fight cybercrime.

Computers booting up to start the workweek might continue the spread of "WannaCry", a ransomware attack where hackers lock down a computer and threaten to delete all its data unless a ransom is paid.

"And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cyber security threats in the world today - nation-state action and organised criminal action".

Microsoft's general support policy is to provide patches and feature updates for operating systems in mainstream support, while operating systems in extended support are limited to bug fixes.

There are fears of further "ransomware" attacks as people return to work on Monday.

CERT-In has been on an overdrive advising critical infrastructure agencies including banks, airports, telecom networks and stock markets to take precautions against the ransomware attack by downloading software "patches". By that time, Microsoft had discovered the bug on its own and issued a security update, but many users with older versions of Windows no longer receive such updates. French carmaker Renault was forced to stop production at sites in France, Slovenia and Romania, while FedEx said it was "implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible".

One of the biggest-ever ransomware attacks continues to take computers hostage.

Microsoft has introduced a security patch to tackle the situation, and consumers across the globe have been advised to download the solution at the earliest. "If your operating system does not have the specific hotfix installed, then you are vulnerable and need to update immediately", continued the spokesperson.

Europe's cross-border police agency chief Rob Wainwright said the attack was "unprecedented" and they are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to identify those behind the malware who are now unknown.

Government activates mechanism to prevent cyber attack