Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Sheffield professor's advice on how to protect yourself — NHS cyber attack

The attack has been found in 150 countries, affecting 200,000 computers, according to Europol, the European law enforcement agency.

"So there's a good chance they are going to do it. maybe not this weekend, but quite likely on Monday morning".

The National Crime Agency encourages victims not to pay any ransom and to contact Action Fraud. Railway stations, mail delivery, gas stations, hospitals, office buildings, shopping malls and government services were also said to be affected. Cybersecurity experts have said the majority of the attacks targeted Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan.

"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed Indian commercial banks to operate their ATMs only after updating the machines" software.

Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the United Kingdom hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out. The ransomware was created to repeatedly contact an unregistered domain in its code.

Meanwhile, an executive at a cybersecurity firm that helped block Friday's attack said that new variations of the malicious worm are circulating - and that researchers expect one to develop that can not be stopped.

Australia appears to have escaped the worst fallout from a huge global ransomware attack, but the Prime Minister's cybersecurity adviser has warned that "this is not game over" in the battle between hackers and security agencies.

"There are so many states that have been affected". Copycat attacks could follow.

The firm said (( )) it has warned about the exponential growth of ransomware, or crimeware, as well as the dangers of sophisticated surveillance tools used by governments.

The "Wannacry" virus locks users out of their computers and demands hundreds of dollars from victims hoping to regain control of their documents and data. The exploit was leaked last month as part of a trove of NSA spy tools.

Experts urged organizations and companies to immediately update older Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows XP, with a patch released by the company.

"Paying the ransom does not guarantee the encrypted files will be released", the US Department of Homeland Security's computer emergency response team said.

The patches won't do any good for machines that have already been hit.

Security agencies have so far not been able to identify who was behind the attack. That's a frightening thought considering the disruptions the virus caused.

Here is the latest National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) advice on the virus that took down computers across the world, including some NHS systems. It said the ransomware called "WannaCry" or "WannaCrypt" encrypts the computer's hard disk drive and then spreads laterally between computers on the same local area network (LAN). Europol said that the malware attack was of an unprecedented level , and that the numbers were still increasing.

The virus or malware that has affected at least 150 countries this weekend primarily targets PCs and laptops that still use Windows XP.

But what do you do if the ransomware arrives on your computer?

In India, nearly 60 percent of the 2.25 lakh ATMs run on Windows XP. Late in the day, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the NHS was once again "working as normal", with 97 percent of the system's components now fully restored.

Cluley said yesterday's attack also highlighted the risks that organizations take by not investing in updated IT systems and security.

Smith said Microsoft has the "first responsibility" to address the problem.

Consumers who have up-to-date software are protected from this ransomware. In the case of WannaCry, this malware is believed to have been based on a software developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

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