Published: Mon, May 15, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Businesses brace for more cyber attacks

Businesses brace for more cyber attacks

We are obviously working with that business the Australian Cyber Security Centre is engaging with them'.

A malicious piece of software that blocks access to computers until money is paid, ransomware WannaCry is said to have swamped machines in over 150 countries, including India.

The virus took control of users' files, demanding payments; Russian Federation and the United Kingdom were among the worst-hit countries.

Microsoft said it had taken the "highly unusual step" of releasing a patch for computers running older operating systems including Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003. The country also has the highest number of pirated software users.

He said the act was "unprecedented in its scale" and warned more people could find themselves affected on Monday morning.

Europol said its cybercrime specialists will support affected countries as a "complex global investigation" to identify the culprits begins.

"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said in a blog post on Sunday, comparing the recent leaks of NSA and Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools to, in the real world, the theft of cruise missiles.

Microsoft released security updates last month to address the vulnerability, with another patch released on Friday.

Cooper said the worst hit are organisations that don't have security "hygiene" in place.

"The problem is the larger organisations are still running on old, no longer supported operating systems", said Lawrence Abrams, a New York-based blogger who runs BleepingComputer.com. Equally vulnerable will be government establishments, he added. Targets both large and small have been hit.

"That's what makes this more troubling than ransomware was a week ago", Thakur said.

Security wonks are calling it the biggest cyberattack ever. Experts did not divulge names of the organisations that have been hit.

How can you tell if a computer has been infected?

A global cyber attack leveraging hacking tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency has infected tens of thousands of computers in almost 100 countries, disrupting Britain's health system and global shipper FedEx.

CERT-In has informed all chief information security officers regarding the ransomware and an advisory has been issued.

Businesses, government agencies and other organizations were urged to quickly implement a patch released by Microsoft Corp.

Had it not been for a young cybersecurity researcher's accidental discovery of a so-called "kill switch", the malicious software likely would have spread much farther and faster.

A chart made Sunday by Malware Tech shows the distribution of the 200,000-plus attacks by the "WannaCry" ransomware. "Humans are the weakest link in cyber security, and this ransomware attack proves that yet again", he said.

Several hospitals in London and other parts of England and Scotland were affected and some reportedly halted surgeries amid fears the lives of patients were at risk. Trishneet Arora, CEO, TAC Security, said manufacturing companies in Mumbai, Gujarat and even jewellery manufacturing companies have reached out to him to safeguard their systems. The impact is said to be bigger than the CoNFicker attack in 2008 that hit 190 countries. Details will be announced on MyGov and Social Media.

The government is planning a technical webcast on Monday, said Sundararajan.

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