Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Microsoft releases WannaCrypt patch for Windows XP, Server 2003

Kayla Schwartz | 16 May, 2017, 07:57

Europol, the European Union's police agency, said the onslaught was at "an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits".

A fast-moving wave of cyberattacks swept the globe Friday, apparently exploiting a flaw exposed in documents leaked from the US National Security Agency.

Microsoft released patches last month and on Friday to fix a vulnerability that allowed the worm to spread across networks, a rare and powerful feature that caused infections to surge on Friday.

Two security firms - Kaspersky Lab and Avast - said they had identified the malicious software behind the attack in upward of 70 countries, although both said the attack has hit Russian Federation hardest.

Ciaran Martin, who leads the UK's National Cyber Security Centre, said his team was doing everything in their power to get "vital services" back up and running.

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

Officials across the globe are scrambling to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that disrupted operations at auto factories, hospitals, shops and schools, while Microsoft pinned blame on the United States government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Saturday that 45 public health organizations were hit, but she stressed that no patient data had been stolen.

The scope of the attacks was not immediately clear, but some analysts reported that dozens of countries had been affected, with the malware linked to attacks on hospitals in Britain as well as the Spanish telecom giant Telefonica and the U.S. delivery firm FedEx. It's not uncommon for them to use aliases, either to protect themselves from retaliatory attacks or for privacy.

Justices rule against consumer in debt collection case
The decision reversed a federal appellate court order, which forbade the behavior under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. That's when the court is meeting to issue opinions in cases that were argued over the past six months.

A Telefonica spokesman said a window appeared on screens of infected computers that demanded payment with the digital currency bitcoin in order to regain access to files. Russia's health ministry said its attacks were "effectively repelled".

Still, only a small number of US -headquartered organizations were hit because the hackers appear to have begun the campaign by targeting organizations in Europe, said Vikram Thakur, research manager with security software maker Symantec. Both said Russian Federation was hit hardest. Renault's futuristic assembly line in Slovenia, where rows of robots weld auto bodies together, was stopped cold.

Experts advise users not to pay, as it would only encourage the attackers.

The attack has been found in 150 countries, affecting 200,000 computers, according to Europol, the European law enforcement agency.

Krishna Chinthapalli, a doctor at Britain's National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery who wrote a paper on cybersecurity for the British Medical Journal, said many British hospitals still use Windows XP software, introduced in 2001. So even people with older computers should go update them.

The Shadow Brokers released Eternal Blue as part of a trove of hacking tools that they said belonged to the USA spy agency.

He warned Microsoft users that those behind the attack could easily modify the virus and relaunch it, making it critical to update security and anti-virus software as soon as possible.

The effects were felt across the globe, with Britain's National Health Service, Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the US and French carmaker Renault all reporting disruptions. Deutsche Bahn said it deployed extra staff to busy stations to help customers, and recommended that they check its website or app for information on their connections.

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