Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

United States should take some of blame for massive cyberattack, Chinese media says

It also installs a countdown timer on the victim's wallpaper, demanding that the ransom be paid to avoid having private files deleted. In a matter of minutes, your files are our of reach. The longer you wait, the more you have to pay.

In total, the hackers behind WannaCry made $69,535 by Tuesday morning, as payments continued to flow in. It is believed that 200,000 computers were affected by the ransomware.

WannaCry ransomware had spread using a loophole in Microsoft windows operating systems that were initially found by the USA national security agency (NSA), which according to reports was using it in order to find a way to hack networks of terrorist groups, and was leaked by Shadow Brokers, which said that it had found the tools in agency's servers which the group had breached earlier. The most serious of which has been the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom which holds patient care information.

Quick Heal Technologies Ltd, the maker of antivirus software detected over 48,000 ransomware attack attempts in India, with state of West Bengal witnessing the most incidents.

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Major global companies said they came under attack as well.

Also hit were Deutsche Bahn, the Russian Central Bank, Russian Railways, Russia's Interior Ministry, Megafon and Telefónica.

How did the attack spread so fast?

The WannaCry pandemic is thus a win-win situation for Microsoft, which will only end up minting more money from the fiasco. Infections can be spread through email attachments and links, so avoid clicking on any content inside a dodgy looking email.

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Once WannaCry has penetrated an organisation, it will hunt down vulnerable machines and infect them as well.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) should shoulder some blame for the attack, which targets vulnerabilities in Microsoft Corp systems and has infected some 30,000 Chinese organisations as of Saturday, the China Daily said.

A senior Europol spokesperson told AFP today it is "too early" to identify who was behind the attack, adding that an "investigation is ongoing".

Smith said the malicious WannaCrypt software "were drawn from the exploits stolen from the National Security Agency".

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Europol said it does not know the motive behind it. Another option is keep your particularly important data in a second location, such as on Google Drive or on an external hard drive.

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