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

Microsoft Releases Patch for Older Windows Versions to Protect Against Wana Decrypt0r

The worldwide attack was so unprecedented that Microsoft quickly changed its policy and announced that it will make security fixes available for free for older Windows systems, which are still used by millions of individuals and smaller businesses. But Villasenor said there is "no ideal solution" to the problem.

The UK's state-run National Health Service declared a "major incident" after the attack, which forced some hospitals to divert ambulances and scrap operations. The ransomware appeared to have hit some 100,000 systems, more than half in Russian Federation, according to a tweet yesterday by malware researcher Jakub Kroustek.

The scope of the attacks was not immediately clear, but some analysts reported that dozens of countries had been affected, with the malware linked to attacks on hospitals in Britain as well as the Spanish telecom giant Telefonica and the USA delivery firm FedEx.

Upon learning of EternalBlue's origin, Microsoft promptly released a patch in March to suture the vulnerability, but now it appears hackers took advantage of targets - such as hospitals - that had yet to update their systems.

"The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor", NHS Digital, the body of the Department of Health that uses information and technology to support the health care system, said in a statement. It combined a known and highly unsafe security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didnt apply Microsofts March software fix, and a software design that allowed the malware to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks.

The NSA has declined to comment on the authenticity of the Shadow Brokers documents.

The Prague-based firm said it had detected more than 57,000 samples of the malware on Friday.

The Computer Emergency Response Team of Turkey tweeted that the "wannacry ransomware" is spread over Server Message Block flaws.

Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, EC3, said in a statement today that the attack was "at an unprecedented level and will require a complex global investigation to identify the culprits".

It has also managed to infect computer systems such as England's National Health Services, and Spanish telecom company Telefonica has also reportedly been infected as well.

Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion attack Friday that locked up computers and held users' files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies.

Hospitals across England have canceled appointments and turned away patients after suffering an apparent cyberattack. Non-emergency surgeries were postponed and patients were diverted to other facilities.

But as this attack demonstrates, there is no cause for celebration. Brad Smith, who is Microsoft's chief legal officer, said Sunday in a blog post that his company, its customers and the government all share the blame. "I emailed urgent referrals but couldn't get through.We had to go to a different hospital entirely".

EC3 says its Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce, made up of experts in high-tech crime, "is specially created to assist in such investigations and will play an important role in supporting the investigation".

As similar widespread ransomware attacks were reported in Spain, Romania and elsewhere, experts warned that online extortion attempts by hackers are a growing menace. The ruse is known as phishing.

How does the ransomware attack happen?

Typically users must click on a malicious attachment to install ransomware.

"This is turning into the biggest cybersecurity incident I've ever seen", United Kingdom -based security architect Kevin Beaumont said.

What having NSA tools in the wild doesn't mean is that "we're all going to be spied on by everyone", she said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said there was no evidence patient data had been compromised and added that the attack had not specifically targeted the National Health Service.

"It's an global attack and a number of countries and organizations have been affected", Mrs.

"This is depressing as a cybersecurity expert", Kalember said.

"The safety of the public must be the priority and the NHS should be given every resource to bring the situation under control as soon as possible", Mr. Ashworth said.

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