It has been described as one of the most serious IT security breaches to have ever taken place.
Meanwhile, CERT-In today said that it has not received any formal report of the cyber attack on India's vital networks by the crippling global ransomware, "WannaCry", PTI reported. It said the ransomware called "WannaCry" or "WannaCrypt" encrypts the computer's hard disk drive and then spreads laterally between computers on the same local area network (LAN).
The ransom is $300 and you've got 3 days to pay before it doubles to $600. That's why it's called ransomware.
But individuals with PCs running Windows should still take a few precautions.
Friday's attack could have been much worse, had the perpetrators not slipped up by failing to register an Internet domain that was hardcoded into their exploit as a sort of kill switch they could activate if they wanted to shut down the worm. Software manufacturers often provide updates or patches to their products after they discover such a flaw, to prevent cyber-criminals from exploiting it.
"For those organizations who have not yet applied the security update, we suggest you immediately deploy Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010".
Consumers are also at risk.
Once compromised, those vulnerable computers provided WannaCry's perpetrators with a gateway into an unknown number of Windows systems the world over as the virus wormed its way from machine to machine by exploiting a Microsoft vulnerability affecting multiple operating systems.
The attack has been found in 150 countries, affecting 200,000 computers, according to Europol, the European law enforcement agency.
Some hospitals were forced to cancel procedures and appointments, as ambulances were directed to neighbouring hospitals free from the computer virus. Among those hit were Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica and FedEx Corp.in the U.S.
Cyber security firms had urged all users to update Windows software last month after hackers leaked a cyber tool stolen from the US National Security Agency. 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. By registering one of the web domains used by the attackers that hadn't been registered, he triggered a crash that would hinder the ransomware from spreading at the speed it was.
The state-run People's Daily compared the cyber attack to the terrorist hacking depicted in the US film "Die Hard 4", warning that China's role in global trade and internet connectivity opened it to increased risks from overseas.
The software works by searching for the prime numbers the ransomware uses to create the key.
The hackers remain anonymous for now, but it appears that they are amateurs.
The researcher tweeted that he initially didn't know that his actions would stop the malware.
Our expert systems gave us visibility and context into this new attack as it happened, allowing Windows Defender Antivirus to deliver real-time defense.
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