NSA Told Microsoft of Flaw Before Ransomware Attack

Isaac Cain
May 19, 2017

According to Alex Abdo, a staff lawyer at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, "The claim that the mass cyber attack is attributable to NSA's mistake has merit".

The state-run People's Daily compared the cyber attack to the terrorist hacking depicted in the U.S. film "Die Hard 4", warning that China's role in global trade and internet connectivity opened it to increased risks from overseas.

According to the latest tech reports, it appears that the simple "phish" approach wasn't the cause here. Moreover, the risk of getting affected is still high as employees might come back to work and click on infected links or email attachments that might further spread the ransomware software.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the virus manages to use Port 445, which is a non-connected location Microsoft uses to communicate between computer and peripheral - like a printer.

"They're going to turn on their computers in the morning and find out if they were protected or not" said James Barnett, a security expert at Venable.

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In an analysis posted today, Finnish cybersecurity firm F-Secure explains that China and Russian Federation are two of the countries most severely hit by WannaCry, and there's a reason why this happened: the big number of computers running pirated Windows.

The ransomware campaign has been less devastating to the United States than other countries, but has affected some American companies including FedEx. The university's Information Security Office - a unit within Information Services, the UO's central information technology department - is working directly with the directors of campus IT units to make sure the Windows computers across campus are secure from this threat.

The hacker, whose are yet to be recognised employed a technique, allegedly stolen from the US National Security Agency for targeting the market-leading Windows operating system of Microsoft. "Ransomware is painful, but you can restore operations relatively quickly". If a more recent version of Windows is running on the computer and it stays up-to-date, it should not be vulnerable to the current attack or WannaCry. You can get unlimited data backup for as little as $59.99 per year for a basic plan.

Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud-based subscription software service that is a growing contributor to Microsoft sales. For many victims, finding and paying in Bitcoin is a task that is beyond them.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that will block access to your files unless you pay a ransom. WannaCry is a ransomware that feeds on a particular Windows exploit and encrypts user data until they pay up.

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