Beware, WannaCry cyber attack may just be the beginning

Ransom demand screen displayed by Wanna Cry Trojan
Ransom demand screen displayed by Wanna Cry Trojan
Author

19 May, 2017

Also enjoying strong protection from liability over the cyber attack is the U.S. National Security Agency, whose stolen hacking tool is believed to be the basis for WannaCry.

WannaCry, otherwise known as WannaCrypt is a software which targets computers running on the Windows system and locks files until a ransom is paid in digital Bitcoins.

Microsoft, the company who's network were the prime focus of the attacks, said on Tuesday that it was aware of the group's most recent claim and that the companies security team was monitoring threats to "help us prioritise and take appropriate action". The People's Daily said China has called for enhanced cyber security and a rules-based order in cyber space.

According to reports, the malicious software spread to at least 300,000 devices globally, including the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

Since increasing numbers of systems running older versions of Windows were affected, Microsoft had made a decision to push an emergency patch for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, urging users to deploy the patch as soon as possible to limit the impact of WannaCry.

WannaCry ransomware had spread using a loophole in Microsoft windows operating systems that were initially found by the USA national security agency (NSA), which according to reports was using it in order to find a way to hack networks of terrorist groups, and was leaked by Shadow Brokers, which said that it had found the tools in agency's servers which the group had breached earlier.

For a full description of ransomware and how it can be stopped, see here. A modified version of the exploit was used to carry out the ransomware attack that hit machines in more than 150 countries, including those at hospitals and major corporations. The attack on Britain's NHS was potentially the most devastating as thousands of patients' appointments were cancelled, ambulances rerouted, records lost and chaos followed, despite the warnings delivered, some as recently as a year ago, on the vulnerability of outdated systems.

Hitachi: The Japanese electronics firm said Monday that its computer systems have been experiencing problems since the weekend, including not being able to send and receive emails or open attached files.


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