Saturday, 24 June, 2017

Ransomware WannaCry: Uttar Pradesh police lists 5 steps to save your computer

An advertisement plays behind a window reflecting a nearby building at the Microsoft office in Cambridge 5 ways to become less likely target for ransomware hackers
Kayla Schwartz | 20 May, 2017, 02:09

The WannaCry ransomware spread quickly across the globe within hours of being discovered. And, if you were guessing that Windows 10 wouldn't catch this malware, you might be wrong. "Software updates and security patches are pushed to us as needed so that we are using the most current approved versions of software on our computers".

John Riggi, former FBI Section Chief for the Cyber Division Outreach Section and now head of services firm BDO's Cybersecurity and Financial Crimes Unit, believes that because the WannaCry ransomware started out in Europe and spread to the rest of the world-including Asia-the sequence of attacks in other countries worked to the advantage of US organizations.

Lastly there are, of course, the attackers, who kidnapped precious data and demanded ransom be paid. The incident was first reported on May 12 and within a few hours, the WannaCry Ransomware had locked 75,000 cyber attacks in 75 countries demanding a random of Dollars 300 to 600 from the users to give access to them. Here's a quick look. Software updates often contain lots of patches that fix bugs and close security loopholes; regularly using Windows Update or the Software Update feature on a Mac will help insulate you from problems. Under the Vulnerabilities Equities Process established during former President Barack Obama's administration in 2013, the NSA, CIA and other intelligence agencies are supposed to disclose security bugs rather than trying to exploit them. This threat is detected as "Ransom:Win32/WannaCrypt". Also, a good antivirus software makes wonders, if it is updated, of course.

In other words, if people had simply stayed on top of security updates, their machines would not have been infected. Remember Microsoft had stopped supporting these version of Windows, but it has issued a rare security patch to fight against the WannaCry ransomware attack. Microsoft says customers should exercise caution when opening mails from unknown persons.

"It uses the hacking tools recently disclosed by the NSA and which have since been fixed by Microsoft in a more stealthy manner and for a different goal", he said.

Chinese media blame the United States of America for WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack
The best course of action is to contact an IT or Cyber Security professional to assist you in analyzing and minimizing the attack. Even though Microsoft no longer provides updates for Windows XP, it is still widely used in Europe and Asia.

Now the group which stole these hacking weapons is called Shadow Brokers, and they are promising more chaos by releasing more of these tools to criminals.

"The fact that it started out in Europe served as an early warning system of sorts for USA organizations to ensure that they had time for patches to be implemented", says Riggi. Users might not be able to do much here. Zero-day exploits are vulnerabilities, which even the companies have not discovered yet.

For users, the best thing to do is take a backup for all data, which should include a copy that isn't just online, but also stored offline.

This includes whitelisting certain websites and software so only approved programs can run on a computer, or disabling administrative privileges on a company's machines so that only the IT department can download programs.

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