Ransomware attack puts renewed focus on cybersecurity

Employees of anti-virus program development Kaspersky Lab work at their company's offices in Moscow

Kaspersky Lab Registers Sixfold Decline in Wanna Cry Ransomware Cyberattacks AFP 2017 ALEXEY SAZONOV

From governments to individuals, there's plenty of finger-pointing going on following the latest global cyberattack.

In India, the attack affected Andhra Pradesh Police, four manufacturing companies, two retailers, to banks, the operations of a multinational corporations and the Chennai automation facility. "As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems".

Some of the victims have reportedly regained access to their files after paying, although security experts advise against complying with ransom demands. "Still, the NSA can't be very proud of this".

Here are some of the key players in the attack and what may - or may not - be their fault. So it makes sense to assign some responsibility to the NSA - the attackers didn't come up with this security hole on their own, after all.

A GLOBAL cyber attack that has struck computers across Europe and Asia is believed to have infected its first Australian business, the federal government says.

But he aimed his sharpest criticisms at the USA and other nations. "Because not everyone installs those updates in a timely manner".

Urging businesses and computer users to keep their systems current and updated, Smith says the WannaCry attack shows the importance of collective action to fight cybercrime. Here's what you should do to protect yourself.

Still, it was Microsoft that wrote the exploitable software to begin with.

That is according to Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith, who pointed out in a blog post that the ransomware employed stolen "exploits" from the National Security Agency-"exploits" are ways to exploit computer vulnerabilities, which governments use to attack each other on the field of cyber battle. And just as they are unlikely to pay for an upgrade to their operating systems, they may not want to - or be able to - pay for security fixes.

"Because of the quantity of data involved and the complexity of these kinds of enquiries we need to be clear that this is an investigation which will take time", said Owens.

The attack stoked fears that the spy agency's powerful cyber weapons could now be turned to criminal use, ratcheting up cyber security threats to a whole new level.

The software that is prone to be infected includes Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016. Multiple backups also help. Have you paid the ransom?

"It's not rocket science", Litan said.

The Spanish telephone operator Telefonica said it had been attacked. Asked what the company is doing to prevent such exploitations, he cited "basic IT security blocking and tackling".

"Organisations of all types and sizes should check whether their anti-virus programs are operating effectively, whether they are up-to-date with their security patching for software and ensure they back-up data onto systems that are operationally distinct from the main systems they rely on to ensure that systems can be switched and operations restored quickly in the event a ransomware attack hitting", Birdsey said.

One particular vulnerability in Windows, leaked by a shady crew called Shadow Brokers, was used by the WannaCry hackers to give their ransomware a worm feature, allowing it to spread between vulnerable PCs silently and at speed.

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