Microsoft's President Reflects On Cyberattack, Helping Pirates And The NSA

Ransomware is a sophisticated piece of malware that blocks the victim's access to his/her files, and the only way to regain access to the files is to pay a ransom.

On the other hand, the attack has served as a live demonstration of a new type of global threat, one that could encourage future hackers.

A ransomware called WannaCry has infected tens of thousands of computers around the globe in recent days.

Microsoft released patches last month and on Friday to fix a vulnerability that allowed the worm to spread across networks, a rare and powerful feature that caused infections to surge on Friday.

It is possible to remove WannaCry from your computer once it is there - although the process is not straightforward. They also listed a series of preventive methods including establishing a Sender Policy Framework, Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance and DomainKeys Identified Mail, maintain updated Antivirus software on all systems and to employ least-privileged accounts.

The Response: Specific actions, including the application of the Microsoft patch for the MS17-010 SMB vulnerability, are recommended. Typically the virus also scrambles the file names, so you can't know which data was affected. He's been watching the Bitcoins accumulating at WannaCry's three addresses.

While nations like Russia, China or the United States might develop computer viruses for offensive reasons, they typically would build in some sort of limitation out of fear it could run wild and backfire on them.

Malicious software called "WannaCry" was distributed early Friday morning. But they could all be drawing conclusions from a very small set of clues.

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The ransomware threat is particularly predominant in the country, where almost 60% of Indians use pirated software, according to a 2015 survey. Another security company, Symantec, related the same findings, which it characterized as intriguing but "weak" associations, since the code could have been copied from the Lazarus malware.

"Ransomware is still not a cyber crime that is recognized under the Information Technology Act 2000 and it does not get fully covered by provision of the Indian Penal Code". The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.

He said that intelligence agencies tended to be good and responsible stewards of the hacks and exploits they develop. That wasn't done here.

"At the moment we are in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up, I am anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning", he said.

Microsoft released a patch for the flaw in March after hackers stole the exploit from the NSA.

Back up data regularly. But ultimately, WannaCry shows that the kinds of cyber-games played by the NSA - the kind exposed by Edward Snowden - are in fact risky.

Starting in 2016, Shadow Brokers has been leaking hacking tools linked to the NSA online.

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