Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

22 million WannaCry ransomware attack attempts blocked by Symantec

The security firm Kaspersky Lab, based in Russian Federation, noted that Microsoft had repaired the software problem that allows backdoor entry into its operating systems weeks before hackers published the exploit linked to the NSA, but also said: "Unfortunately it appears that many users have not yet installed the patch".

In 2014, Microsoft ended support for the highly popular Windows XP, released in 2001 and engineered beginning in the late 1990s, arguing that the software was out of date and wasn't built with modern security safeguards.

A ransomware, Ransom.WannaCry, last week paralyzed hospitals and organizations in Europe and has now infected over 100 countries, including Singapore, hostaging more than 200,000 computers. "Many people installed the patches and others did not, and that was the main problem". For more detailed information about the Windows vulnerability and how to resolve it, see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010 - Critical. With this attack, Abrams recommends trying to recover the "shadow volume" copies some versions of Windows have. Netizens reported that Shanghai city and Beijing's Chaoyang immigration offices were also paralyzed because of the ransomware attack.

You should make multiple backups - to cloud services and using physical disk drives, at regular and frequent intervals. Most importantly, take back-ups. As mentioned earlier, even if the malware was subsequently removed via antivirus programs, the files are still encrypted.

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"Ransomware attack appears to be causing glitches at many ATMs that work on Random Access Memory (RAM)". Updating software will take care of some vulnerability.

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. "I hope that if another attack occurs, the damage will be a lot less". Microsoft requires Windows 10 customers to automatically update their computers, but some people with older PCs disabled automatic updates. Yet in an unusual step, they released a patch for those older systems because of the magnitude of the outbreak.

What made the conception of the virus possible in the first place? In a separate malware attack previous year, 3.2 lakh debit card were compromised in the country. If you get an attachment from someone you do know but it looks odd or sketchy, don't download or open it.

To prepare for fallout with customers, Judson Althoff, a Microsoft executive vice president, sent an email to the company's field sales team Sunday encouraging them to be supportive of businesses targeted by the attack, or even those who were simply aware of it.

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"If there is a silver lining to it, you're not out a million dollars", he said.

"In the event of infection, this will help you recover all data", said Urban Schrott, IT security and cybercrime analyst with Eset Ireland.

Also, backing up data is a must.

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