So what should a Microsoft Windows user do in order to protect their computer against the WannaCry ransomware attack?
The WannaCry infection stood out from earlier attacks for the speed with which it spread, and the way that the code was used to lock down infected computers until their users paid a ransom.
In an interview with Britain’s ITV, Europol Director Rob Wainwright said a cross-border investigation would be necessary to track down the culprits.
Some organizations are more vulnerable to intrusion because they use older or outdated operating systems, usually due to the cost of upgrading software or buying modern hardware needed to install better-protected operating systems.
Hitachi: The Japanese electronics firm said Monday that its computer systems have been experiencing problems since the weekend, including not being able to send and receive emails or open attached files.
Microsoft has taken the unusual step of re-releasing security updates for some older versions of its Windows platforms to counter a massive global wave of cyber ransomware attacks.
“Known as WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor, the so-called ransomware program homes in on vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows systems”, the daily said. Microsoft says now it will make the fixes free for everyone.
Believe it or not, many times those updates involve patches and improvements to prevent security breaches like this from happening.
It’s hard not to engage in a bit of victim-blaming in this situation, especially because security experts say the attacks could have been prevented. The attack froze computers at hospitals across the country, with some cancelling all routine procedures. In fact, it is highly probably that computers at your company have not been updated yet.
The so-called “Wannacry” virus notably attacks Windows XP, which in principle has not been supported by Microsoft since 2014. NHS officials shared some screenshots of the WannaCry demanding $300 in Bitcoins to unlock all the records data present on every laptop.
Russian cellular phone operators Megafon and MTS said some of their computers were hit and the Russian national railway system said although it was attacked, rail operations were unaffected. Some companies, such as car-maker Renault, have halted production for now.
Fortunately, Windows 10 customers were not targeted in Friday’s attack.
The ransomware was initially found spreading through attachments in email phishing campaigns.
Microsoft said it had released a Windows security update in March to tackle the problem involved in the latest attack, but many users were yet to run it.
“Like many other companies, FedEx is experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware”.
Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at Gartner, agreed that the government is “is negligent not doing a better job protecting companies”, but added that it’s not like “you can stop the USA government from developing cybertools” that then work as intended.
In this May 12, 2017 photo, a display panel with an error can be seen at the main railway station in Chemnitz, Germany. Deutsche Bahn said it deployed extra staff to busy stations to help customers, and recommended that they check its website or app for information on their connections.