That a hacker can have control over your data on your computer and can even demand ransom for it has become a horrifying reality with the WannaCry ransomware attack that was discovered on Friday. And it's expected to cause more problems on Monday. This particular program, called WannaCry, asks for about $300, though the price increases over time.
The WannaCry ransomware seems to have used a flaw in Microsoft's software to spread fast across networks and lock away files.
The National Crime Agency encourages victims not to pay any ransom and to contact Action Fraud. Those include a known and highly risky security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn't apply Microsoft's March software fix, and malware created to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks. But computers and networks that didn't update their systems are still at risk.
The damage was contained by a 22-year-old security researcher who goes by the name @MalwareTechBlog on Twitter. He warned hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the "kill switch" that helped to stop it. Install Microsoft's patch. 3. In a surprise move over the weekend, Microsoft released a patch for versions of Windows it no longer supports - because many businesses and organizations use legacy technology as critical infrastructure.
British based cyber researcher Chris Doman of AlienVault said the ransomware " looks to be targeting a wide range of countries+ ", with initial evidence of infections in at least two dozen nations according to experts from three security firms. The tool is called WCRYSLAP and can be found here.
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United States and European officials scrambled to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that caused damage across the globe over the weekend. Shutting down a network can prevent the continued encryption - and possible loss - of more files.
While the NHS could have been more responsible, the root of the virus links back to the NSA for failing to report software vulnerabilities to companies so they can be fixed, especially the "Eternal Blue", which was stolen by the hackers responsible for Friday's attack.
There are a total of 2.2 lakh ATMs in India, of which few may be running on old Windows XP. "The intelligence community should develop strong procedures that when such tools leak, they immediately give relevant information to software developers and security vendors so protections can be developed before attacks are seen in the wild". Microsoft also recommends running its free anti-virus software for Windows.
He added that to protect the system from Ransomware, users must collect a backup of their entire data on an external hard disk.