Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

NSA Told Microsoft of Flaw Before Ransomware Attack

For a full description of ransomware and how it can be stopped, see here.

This ransomware simply locks up the files on an infected computer and encrypts them so that the owner or authorized user can no longer access them.

The "ransomware" cyberattack on companies and governments around the world has yet to victimize anyone at the University of IL, mostly because the UI bans outdated versions of the Windows operating system targeted by the virus.

WannaCry is a form of malware called ransomware.

Years ago, Microsoft released its Windows XP operating system, which turned out to have a flaw. Over the weekend, Microsoft rolled out a patch for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8.

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China Daily said that National Security Agency of US should carry some responsibility for the attack which marks susceptibilities in Microsoft Corp systems and has septic about 30,000 Chinese officialdoms till Saturday.

The NSA went to Microsoft after it learned a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers had stolen the hacking tool that took advantage of the exploit out of fear the tool might be used for a large-scale attack. Brad Smith, the company's lawyer wrote on Microsoft's official blog: "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen". "We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits".

The source of the attack is a worrisome issue for the USA government because the software is based on cyber-tools developed by the National Security Agency (NSA). An investigation is on-going regarding how the codes got out.

And who better to talk about it than former director of the NSA and ex-chief of the Central Security Service, general Keith Alexander? "We are in the second wave", said Matthieu Suiche of Comae Technologies.

A New York Times opinion piece expected Microsoft to provide security updates to dated software forever.

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Mumbai:Further, the RBI has asked banks to follow the instructions of government firm Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to prevent the attack by ransomware, "WannaCry", which has impacted various IT networks in over 150 countries.

Alexander warned there would be more such attacks this year, and urged industry to work with government to try to defend against global cyber threats.

While the social media platforms were filled with posts about the ATMs not working, the corporate offices appealed to their employees to take a back-up of their data and not open any unknown attachment.

How should businesses respond to ransomware attacks?

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Ransomware is a term that we will be hearing more about, and 2017 will go down as the year with the highest number of attacks. The Computer Emergency Response Team has suggested using patches in users' Windows systems to prevent the bug from spreading.

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