WannaCry Ransomware: Know How To Protect Yourself From The Unexpected Attack

Posted May 18, 2017

The huge and unexpected attack that happened last Friday mainly hit businesses and established organizations.

Mr Smith said the "ransomware" attacks had used data stolen from the NSA earlier this year - which contained information on software vulnerabilities the government had hoped to hoard - and subsequently leaked them online.

Britain's National Health Services first sounded the ransomware alarm Friday. The cost of buying Internet anti-virus security programs must be built into all budgets, besides levels of alacrity in putting to work security patches that leading companies like Microsoft put out to protect systems from malware.

Microsoft released fixes for the vulnerability in March, but computers that didn't run the update were subject to the ransom attack.

Hospitals in areas across Britain found themselves without access to their computers or phone systems. More than 200,000 computers have been affected so far. Doctors' practices and pharmacies reported similar problems.

A top Russian mobile operator said Friday it had come under cyberattacks that appeared similar to those that have crippled some United Kingdom ho. "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". "If your system requires Windows Updates to receive the patch for this exploit, create new backups after applying the patch".

In March, Wikileaks released 8,761 documents and files outlining the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) hacking toolkit, that was aimed at exploiting flaws in Apple, Samsung and Microsoft.

"I don't believe it will have been a targeted attack, but will simply have been that the ransomware has sought out those organizations that are running susceptible devices", he said.

A massive cyberattack brought computers to a halt on Friday and Saturday, the malware affecting over one lakh computers and systems in almost 150 nations worldwide, ranging from the UK National Health Service to a French carmaker with an alliance plant in Chennai, the German railways, the Andhra Pradesh police and entire Russian systems.

"For so many organizations in the same day to be hit, this is unprecedented", he said. That amount is likely to have gone up since it was reported. Does the NSA bear any responsibility for these attacks?

The massive ransomware attacks that started late Friday have locked people out of their computers and demanded hundreds of dollars from the users before they could regain control. The way ransomware works is that it encrypts files on computers, often rendering them impossible to recover without paying the attackers.

Spain's Telefonica was among the companies hit.

"We are experiencing a major IT disruption and there are delays at all of our hospitals", it said.

Patrick Ward, a 47-year-old sales director, said his heart operation, scheduled for Friday, was canceled at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London.

Griffiths, who was receiving chemotherapy at Bart's, said several cancer patients had to be sent home from Bart's because their records or bloodwork couldn't be accessed. Hackers said they stole the tools from the NSA and dumped them on the internet. "It's stressful enough for someone going through recovery or treatment for cancer".

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits", said a statement issued by Europol, Europe's police agency.

Wainwright described the cyberattack as an "escalating threat".

Britain's National Health Service is a source of pride for many Britons but faces substantial budget issues and has had previous problems with its huge IT system.

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein). A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack, as captured by a computer user in Taiwan, is seen on laptop in Beijing, Saturday, May 13, 2017.