Amidst global ransomware attack, new versions of WannaCry emerge

Gladys Abbott
May 18, 2017

After Friday's attack took advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities in Microsoft's older Windows operating systems, the US-based software giant slammed governments late Sunday for failing to prepare, saying the attack should be a "wake-up call" to them.

By following this advice you should be better prepared against ransomware attacks, including any resurgence of the WannaCry malware that is now circulating.

The organisations that are vulnerable to ransomware and phishing attacks include those that imagine they are safe because of the service they provide.

With the interests of government agencies and tech firms often at odds, Sims said, a national cybersecurity policy or regulations are needed to set out when notifying companies about a government-identified flaw becomes more important than secretly hanging onto it. You need to know what version of Windows you are running to get the proper patch - an add-on piece of computer code to upgrade and improve software, in this case the Windows operating system. A software upgrade of all government systems will also be in place by then, he said.

CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) worked with the affected USA companies and their European partners over the weekend to get a patch to parties affected by the ransomware infection.

An enormous global cyberattack appeared to have slowed down Monday, the USA said, although the virus has already infected an estimated 300,000 computers worldwide.

However staff beginning the working week have been told to be careful. An SBI official said that there was nothing to worry since the banks ATMs were updated.

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According to a report in Financial Times on Thursday, issuing free custom support would have protected the computers from the ransomware attack. The core financial systems remained secure as they had stronger defences.

Telefónica: Spanish authorities confirmed the Spanish telecom company Telefónica was one of the targets, though the attack affected only some computers and did not compromise the security of clients' information.

Nissan: The carmaker said in a statement that "some Nissan entities were recently targeted" but "there has been no major impact on our business". "Normal production operations are underway at our RNAIPL plant in Chennai". Security agencies in affected countries were racing to find out.

Internationally, China reported of 40,000 organisations being impacted, while the National Health Service of the United Kingdom was also hit badly.

Few people have paid the ransom - $300 in bitcoin digital currency, rising to $600 after a period of time - demanded by the malware, Europol spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth told The Associated Press.

The advice from security experts and the National Crime Agency (NCA) is do not pay the ransom.

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