Log in, look out: Cyber chaos spreads with workweek's start

Massive ransomware attack hits 74 countries

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.

Some of the security professionals say that it is totally traceable where the Bitcoin is going to and that the investigation on the ransomware's code will be made which will definitely lead to them.

Emergency meetings have been held in the United States to assess the threat posed by the global attack. And while Microsoft said it had already released a security update to patch the vulnerability one month earlier, the sequence of events fed speculation that the NSA hadn't told the US tech giant about the security risk until after it had been stolen.

"The number of infected computers has not increased as expected, which is a success", European law enforcement agency Europol said Monday.

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.

The ransomware, called WannaCry, locks down all the files on an infected computer and asks the computer's administrator to pay in order to regain control of them.

The latest virus attack last week exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by USA intelligence.

The ransomware outbreak raises questions about the balance between the collection of security vulnerabilities by the intelligence services for spying purposes and their duty to inform software companies so they can issue patches to protect against their exploitation by cyber criminals.

WannaCry has already caused massive disruption around the globe.

However, the creators behind "WannaCry" have quickly evolved around this domain-based kill switch and altered their code to remove the somewhat freaky error and restart their ransomware campaign. "If someone kidnaps your child, you may pay your ransom but there is no guarantee your child will return".

Security solutions providers have also accelerated efforts to develop tools to tide over the crisis.

However, there is no clarity yet on whether access is restored upon payment of the amount demanded.

"More action is needed, and it's needed now", he said. With this attack, Abrams recommends trying to recover the "shadow volume" copies some versions of Windows have.

The IT ministry said that no reports have been formally received so far regarding the ransomware attack in India. Please, he urged, don't ignore security updates.

He warned governments against stockpiling such vulnerabilities and said instead they should report them to manufacturers - not sell, store or exploit them, lest they fall into the wrong hands.

Use antivirus software to protect systems. The ransomware is automatically scanning for computers it can infect whenever it loads itself onto a new machine. Here's how to turn automatic updates on. Soon after the leak, hackers infected thousands of vulnerable machines with a backdoor called DOUBLEPULSAR.

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