Microsoft re-releases security update after cyberattacks

For all the worldwide chaos they have caused, the ransomware attack's perpetrators have reportedly made little more than less than $70,000, according to Tom Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.

Microsoft Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith launched a blistering attack on the NSA and governments worldwide, equating the ransomware attack with the US military allowing the theft of a Tomahawk missile cache.

"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", wrote Smith in a blog post on Sunday.

"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", Smith said. Because of those successes, the software is already inspiring imitators, as the Bleeping Computer site reports.

Simply put, according to Westcon-Comstor vendor partner AlienVault, WannaCry is a ransomware variant that takes advantage of an exploit in the Windows operating system (MS17-010) that was released by a hacking organisation called Shadow Brokers in March. After WannCrypt is installed, it encrypts data on the PC, then displays an extortion note demanding between $300 and $600 to unlock the files.

"Today, it happened to 10,000 computers", Eisen said. Tim Stevens, a lecturer in global security at King's College London, said the incident should be a wakeup call to both the public and private sectors to incorporate security into computer systems from the ground up, rather than as an afterthought.

Microsoft issued a new patch last week, as well as a patch that would cover the legacy systems, as it stopped providing routine upgrades for them last month. He said he "promptly" registered the domain, something he regularly does to try to discover ways to track or stop malicious software. The western MI resident said he noticed the authors of the malware had left in a feature known as a kill switch.

The WannaCry worm locks users out of their computers and demands that victims pay hundreds of dollars to regain control of their information.

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"If a system supports some kind critical processes those systems typically are very hard to patch". Tom Bossert, a homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump, said "criminals" were responsible, not the USA government. The U.K.'s National Cyber Security Center said it is "working round the clock" to restore vital health services.

The government was not aware of any payments resulting in data recovery, he added. "There is a whole marketplace if you want to hack and you don't have to be good at it", Emily Orton, co-founder of United Kingdom cybersecurity firm Darktrace, told CNBC by phone on Monday.

Federal Express "has resumed normal operations and systems are performing as designed", said spokesperson Rae Lyn.

"This is an emerging pattern in 2017", Smith says in a Microsoft company blog post.

The attack also proves how potentially unsafe massive computer disruptions can be. No company - or hospital, or university, or individual - asks to be the victim of cybercrime, but there are also things companies can do to prevent the attacks from succeeding.

Two hospitals still were diverting patients, however. This attack has impacted many large services and organizations, including hospitals in England, a telecom and natural gas company in Spain, and FedEx.

Initial ransom demands were for U.S. $300 in BitCoins, payable through a link on the announcement screen, though more recent infections seem to have increased the ransom demand to USA $600 with the promise that the amount will continue to increase.

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