Cyberattack is 'wake-up call' for governments

WannaCry Ransomware threat

Microsoft on Saturday took the "highly unusual step" of releasing a public patch for older Windows versions that are otherwise only eligible for custom support - Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003 - to fix the vulnerability being exploited by the ransomware attack. The alert warned of the likelihood that malicious actors will try to take advantage of the current situation in similar ways. The British government cancelled a nationwide NHS support contract with Microsoft after a year, leaving upgrades to local trusts.

The unprecedented global cyberattack crippled IT infrastructure for more than 230,000 organizations across 150 countries, including Britain's National Health Service, Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp and Canada's Université de Montréal, holding computer systems hostage for ransom.

If you are using devices today that will be affected by the Windows sunset, you still have time to act.

However, the Financial Times report points out that Windows XP users are still expected to pay extra if they want security and it now stands at $1,000 per device.

He also poured fuel on a long-running debate over how government intelligence services should balance their desire to keep software flaws secret - in order to conduct espionage and cyber warfare - against sharing those flaws with technology companies to better secure the internet.

Microsoft declined to comment for this story.

Reuters also reports that half of all internet addresses corrupted globally by WannaCry are located in China and Russian Federation, with 30 and 20 percent respectively. Ransomware is a nasty type of malware that enters your computer, locks you out of all your data, and then demands money to unlock it.

After the Wannacry attack, the central bank reissued its recommendations to Russian banks, the bank said. We can certainly question whether they are having much impact given the scale of the recent Ransomware attack.

However, we've heard personal reports that since these hackers are criminals, they are not obligated to release your files once you've made payments. The company is crunching data to arrive at a firmer estimate it aims to release later Thursday.

If you haven't been infected by WannaCry, now is your chance to start backing up your files.

The newspaper said that the role of the US security apparatus in the attack should "instill greater urgency" in China's mission to replace foreign technology with its own. Patching is ultimately the best remedy against ransomware attacks like WannaCry, as it targets the root of the vulnerability.

The rapid recovery by many organisations with unpatched computers caught out by the attack may largely be attributed to back-up and retrieval procedures they had in place, enabling technicians to re-image infected machines, experts said.

The U.K. government's cyber office put it succinctly: "T$3 he way these attacks work means that compromises of machines and networks that have already occurred may not yet have been detected, and that existing infections from the malware can spread within networks".

These factors help explain the mystery of why such a tiny number of victims appear to have paid ransoms into the three bitcoin accounts to which WannaCry directs victims.

Cyber bad guys have spread ransomware, known as WannaCry, to computers around the world. Install Microsoft's patch. 3.

"That's what makes this more troubling than ransomware was a week ago", Thakur said. "That's what the data shows", MWR research head Pratley said.

"It's one of those things, in a ideal world, if people were up to date on the patches, this wouldn't be a problem", O'Leary said.

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