Monday, 29 May, 2017

Why isn't the U.S. getting hit harder by the global ransomware attack?

Worldwide ‘WannaCry’ cyberattack What we know Ransomware 'WannaCry' spreads to thousands more computers at start of workweek
Ben Pena | 19 May, 2017, 21:18

The software can run in 27 different language, according to US cybersecurity officials.

The vulnerability was one of many revealed in April by the hacking group Shadow Brokers, which claimed to have stolen the exploits from the U.S. National Security Agency.

Smith said in a company blog post that governments should alert vendors to software vulnerabilities instead of hoarding them and keeping them secret.

"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on Wikileaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", Smith said in a statement.

The use of that domain is being called a "kill switch" in the malware. "I was quickly able to get a sample of the malware with the help of Kafeine, a good friend and fellow researcher". However, he said it's only a matter of time before a malevolent version exists. By Monday, the company said it had resumed "normal operations". "We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself". The attack encrypted people's computer files - making them inaccessible - and demanded a ransom of about $300 worth of Bitcoin to release them.

A ransomware attack that began in Europe on Friday is lingering - and hitting new targets in Japan and China.

"That's what makes this more troubling than ransomware was a week ago", Thakur said.

"The numbers are still going up", Wainwright said. "We remain highly vigilant", he said.

In addition to the UK's NHS, the WannaCrypt ransomware also hit Spain's Telefonica telco and other companies in Russia, Spain, Taiwan and Ukraine, according to the security firm Malwarebytes. It forced the closure of multiple hospitals and ambulance companies, among other services and institutions. "Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past". And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today - nation-state action and organized criminal action.

Republicans Preview Their Upcoming Defense Of Trump: Blame Comey
Mr Comey was keen to keep Mr Trump at arm's length, according to the Times , before he was dramatically fired earlier this month. May 2, 2017: Clinton again lays part of the blame for losing the election on Comey's October 28 letter.

"Malware that penetrates the perimeter and then spreads inside the network tends to be quite successful", said Johannes Ullrich, director of the Internet Storm Center at the SANS Institute. The official was not authorized to discuss the private meetings by name and requested anonymity.

It was too early to say who was behind the onslaught, which struck 100,000 organizations, and what their motivation was, aside from the obvious demand for money.

French carmaker Renault said its Douai plant, one of its biggest sites in France employing 5,500 people, would be shut on Monday as systems were upgraded. Taiwan's government appeared to have escaped major infection, possibly because regulations there require all departments to install software updates as soon as they are available.

Cyber Security Minister Dan Tehan said on Monday that just three businesses had been hit by the bug, despite worries of widespread infection.

Microsoft released a patch to fix vulnerabilities in March.

The cyberattacks started Friday and spread rapidly around the globe using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that is no longer given mainstream tech support by the USA giant. Once installed, the malware just locks up that computer without spreading to other machines.

Keep all the software on your computer up-to-date.

"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.

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