Ransomware Cyber Attack A Wake Up Call, Microsoft Warns

Share

A few days back, the whole world experienced the wrath of a major ransomware attack called WannaCry. The onslaught forced hospitals to cancel or delay treatments for thousands of patients, even some with serious aliments like cancer. Seven of the 47 affected trusts were still having IT problems Monday. It's unknown who is behind the attacks.

He said Friday's cyberextortion attack, the biggest in history, was going to be dwarfed by the next big ransomware attack. Both said Russian Federation was hit hardest.

"This is obviously by far the worst ransomware outbreak we've seen in, I think, forever", said Lawrence Abrams, a New York-based malware expert who runs BleepingComputer.com.

All this may be just a taste of what's coming, another cyber security expert warned.

Global cyber chaos is spreading as companies boot up computers at work following the weekend's worldwide "ransomware" cyberattack.

Wcry is demanding a ransom of $300 to $600 in Bitcoin to be paid by May 15, or, in the event that deadline is missed, a higher fee by May 19. This is not the serious stuff yet.

"Today, it happened to 10,000 computers", Eisen said.

"Defence Minister Michael Fallon told the BBC that British authorities are spending more than $60 million on safeguarding computer systems", at the NHS, Marx adds. Government agencies, they acknowledge, need to be able to engage in online espionage and warfare.

Private security firms identified the ransomware as a new variant of "WannaCry" that had the ability to automatically spread across large networks by exploiting a known bug in Microsoft's Windows operating system. The tools appeared stolen by hackers, who dumped them on the internet.

While a key URL that enabled the worm's spread has been disabled, the ransomware can still spread to unpatched systems running legacy versions of Windows and requiring a proxy to access the Internet - the norm for corporate networks. More than 200,000 computers have been affected so far.

Experts say his discovery did not fix the damage done by the ransomware, but has stopped it from spreading to new computers. Other impacts in the USA were not readily apparent on Saturday.

But the kill switch couldn't help those already infected. Short of paying, options for these individuals and companies are usually limited to recovering data files from a backup, if available, or living without them. Microsoft says now it will make the fixes free for everyone.

In Russia, government agencies insisted that all attacks had been resolved.

Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk was quoted by the Interfax news agency Saturday as saying the problem had been "localized" and that no information was compromised.

Microsoft issued a fix for the vulnerability that hackers capitalized upon Friday before the Shadow Brokers leak occurred, which experts have said suggests that the NSA may have tipped the company off about the impending leak.

"It's one of those things, in a ideal world, if people were up to date on the patches, this wouldn't be a problem", O'Leary said.

"This obviously was a well-planned and well-coordinated attack", Dillon said.

In Germany, train operator Deutsche Bahn wrote on Twitter that signboards in stations were affected, though no train operations were affected. Renault's futuristic assembly line in Slovenia, where rows of robots weld vehicle bodies together, was stopped cold. Radio Slovenia said Saturday the Revoz factory in the southeastern town of Novo Mesto stopped working Friday evening to stop the malware from spreading.

A security guard stands outside the Telefonica headquarters in Madrid, Spain, Friday, May 12, 2017.

Share