Microsoft says cyberattack should be wake up call for governments

Microsoft Ransomware Targets Out-of Date PCs Only

The ransom demanded of each infected computer was a little more than $300 or so.

A ransomware attack has swept through more than 150 countries across the globe.

The initial attack, known as "WannaCry", paralyzed computers running Britain's hospital network, Germany's national railway and scores of other companies and government agencies around the world.

India's cyber security unit CERT-In on Monday said it has not received any formal report of cyber attack on India's vital networks by the crippling global ransomware, "WannaCry".

Gas stations: State-run media in China reported that some gas stations saw their digital payment systems shut down, forcing customers to bring cash.

Dowling notes that attacks like WannaCry ransomware should be expected with the technologically advanced world we live in. "Some of them are nearly certainly Internet-connected; some of them might be further back-end or otherwise not as vulnerable".

Renault said on Saturday it had halted manufacturing at plants in Sandouville, France, and Romania to prevent the spread of ransomware in its systems.

Security experts say many organisations don't install security upgrades because they're anxious about triggering bugs, or they can't afford the downtime.

Microsoft's top lawyer is laying some of the blame at the feet of the U.S. government.

The incident has not affected electricity supply because the infected computers were used mainly for administrative work, Taipower spokesman Lin Te-fu (林德福) said.

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Patients arriving at Dharmais Cancer Hospital had to wait several hours while staff worked with paper records. The company's free antivirus software Windows Defender, along with other third-party security products from those including Kaspersky Lab and Avast, will also detect and remove the threat.

Information-security expert and ISACA spokesperson Raef Meuwisse warned that the success of WannaCry in disrupting businesses reflected the predictable effects of the "massive false economy" created by companies' continuing disregard for the importance of cybersecurity investment. The attack took the world by surprise, with targets scrambling to fix it. Microsoft even went ahead and issued security patches for older Windows versions it no longer supports, including Windows XP - here's how to get it.

"If there is a silver lining to it, you're not out a million dollars", he said. "It's like after a robber enters your home. At that point, it will be harder to stop new variants". It was benign because it contained a flaw that prevented it from taking over computers and demanding ransom to unlock files but other more malicious ones will likely pop up.

FedEx: The company said it was "experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware" and was trying to fix the problems as quickly as possible.

Just one person in an organization who clicked on an infected attachment or bad link, would lead to all computers in a network becoming infected, said Vikram Thakur, technical director of Symantec Security Response. Again, a more sophisticated ransomware would have had the ability to generate a unique Bitcoin address for each victim.

"We're in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up".

Microsoft's president and top lawyer said Sunday that the ongoing cyberattacks, which experts are calling the largest in history, should be a "wake-up call" for governments - especially the U.S. You see, an agency of our own government - the NSA - knew about the exploit, and rather than alert Microsoft, it chose to stockpile it for intelligence purposes. Cybersecurity experts say the unknown hackers who launched this weekend's "ransomware" attacks used a vulnerability that was exposed in NSA documents leaked online. So far, not many people have paid the ransom demanded by the malware, Europol spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth told The Associated Press.

Because this attack is so contagious - it self-propagates, slithering from computer to computer without any human help - Microsoft decided it had to build a patch for that antique system too.

"Right now, just about every IT department has been working all weekend rolling this out", said Dan Wire, spokesman at Fireeye Security.

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