Ransomware: Cyber Attack Hits 150 Countries Warns-Microsoft
Microsoft warns the world and says; Since, Friday this cyber-attack “Ransomware” has hit 150 should by acknowledged by the governments around the world as a “wake-up call”
The virus intelligently exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows identified by, and stolen from, US intelligence.
There could be more “ransomware” attacks launched when people would start their working week on Monday.
Many companies had an adhoc plan where their experts worked over the weekend to prevent infections. The virus actually took control of the users devices, files and demanded $300 in payments or ransom in order to restore access and bring it back to normal.
According to BBC, experts have identified over 200,000 computers been affected by the virus so far, and that was due to weekend where more than half of the employees are offline. It could be a deadly attack if it would have started during the weekdays.
South Korea reported on nine cases of ransomware on Monday morning with not further details.
Australia reported on three small and medium enterprises were locked out of their systems, whereas New Zealand’s ministry of business has confirmed that small number of unconfirmed incidents were reported which are being investigated.
In Japan, Hitachi and Nisan reported few units were affected by the virus, China energy company PetroChina reported that their payment systems was affected because many customers at petrol stations were unable to use their payment system.
In a statement by Microsoft’s President and Chief legal offices Brad Smith, criticized governments how they use and store information about security flaws in their systems. “We know the vulnerabilities by the CIA systems showed up WikiLeaks, and now this system vulnerability has been stolen from NSA which has affected computers around the world” said the President.
“An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.” He added.
He also warned governments around the world and take this attack as a wakeup call.
Microsoft said they have released a security update in March, to prevent the security flaws and such attacks, but many organizations do not keep their systems up to date, because of that the virus was able to spread across countries.
It would be an arguing debate on Monday for all, institutions that did not keep their systems secure as well as the organizations that are responsible for stopping these attacks in the first place-The NSA and Microsoft.
Updating a single computer for an individual is a piece of cake, it can be done in minutes but for a network the size of Britain’s NHS? Surely it would be Tough – time-consuming, expensive and quite complex.
For a company like Microsoft to say it won’t keep those systems safe unless they shall pay extra for security, itself is something similar to a ransom.
Meanwhile Europol’s chief told the BBC news that the “ransomware” was designed to allow “infection of one computer to quickly spread across the networks”, this allows the infection to spread across the computers and that is why so many computers are being affected
However, a temporary fix earlier slowed down the infection rate, then the attackers released another updated version of virus, he said.
A UK security researcher firm known as “MalwareTech”,helped limiting the ransomware attack, they also warned that another attack could hit the computers on Monday.
In England, 48 National Health Service (NHS) trusts reported problems at their centers, and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were also affected.
Some organisations that were a prime target worldwide includes Germany’s rail network Deutsche Bahn, Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica, French carmaker Renault, US logistics giant FedEx and Russia’s Interior Ministry.
image: via bbc
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