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

Ways To Beat The WannaCry Ransomware Attack

Ways To Beat The WannaCry Ransomware Attack

South Korea's presidential Blue House office said nine cases of ransomware were found in the country, but did not provide details on where the cyber attacks were discovered.

Korea remains on alert for a ransomware attack called WannaCry that has hit more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday. Robinson, in an interview by email, said he calculated the total based on payments tracked to bitcoin addresses specified in the ransom demands.

Because of its success infiltrating systems, the software - also known as WannaCrypt, Wana Decryptor or WCry - is already inspiring imitators.

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday. "And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today - nation-state action and organized criminal action".

But Smith aimed his sharpest criticisms at the US and other nations. "They've been able to manage through it".

The hackers are leveraging a Windows exploit that was deployed by US' National Security Agency called EternalBlue.

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."We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself", Kalember said.

A company official said films were still being screened as scheduled and the company was investigating. Several Chinese universities had also been hit by the attacks, according to local media reports. "On China's most prestigious college campuses, students reported being locked out of their final papers".

Targets both large and small have been hit.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday night ordered his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, to convene an "emergency meeting" to assess the threat posed by the global attack, a senior administration official told Reuters.

Qihoo had previously said the attack had infected close to 30,000 organizations by Saturday evening, more than 4,000 of which were educational institutions.

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits", Europol's European Cybercrime Center says. If the user fails to pay the ransom, the price increases with time.

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Smith wrote.

Theft of the insidious software was reported in April, when it was published by the Shadow Brokers, a group that's been linked to Russian Federation. Microsoft released patches last month and on Friday to fix a vulnerability that allowed the worm to spread across networks. But the success of the attack shows that not enough people took advantage of the patch.

Kaspersky said it was seeking to develop a decryption tool "as soon as possible". Russian Federation and Ukraine had a heavy concentration of infections, according to Dutch security company Avast Software BV.

What is WannaCry ransomware?

The attack was apparently halted in the afternoon in the United Kingdom when a researcher took control of an Internet domain that acted as a kill switch for the worm's propagation, according to Ars Technica.

"Once they're let out of the lamp, genies of this kind, especially those created by intelligence services, can later do damage to their authors and creators", he said.

If you have not been infected, make sure your security patches are up to date by using the Windows Update Service.

Back up your computer and store the safety version in the cloud or on a drive that's not connected to your computer.

Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated. Do not open any emails or attachments from unknown sources. And remember that any account can be compromised. It locks down all the files on an infected computer. This will help you to prevent this ransomware from spreading.

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