Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

WannaCry ransomware attack: 2-day state helpline gets 282 calls

The impact of the WannaCry ransomware attack has been limited to five or six isolated instances so far and there are no reports of any substantial disruption to India's IT backbone, the government said today.

The worldwide cyber attack was orchestrated using a malware called Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry.

According to VNCERT, this is a very risky ransomware, which can steal information and encrypt the entire server system.

"What is new about the WannaCry ransomware virus, which can worm its way into Windows PCs and propagate automatically through systems, is its attack on intranets", Wu said. The WannaCry Ransomware attack was such that it led to shutting down of hospitals, universities, warehouses, ATMs and banks.

Smith said the malicious WannaCrypt software "were drawn from the exploits stolen from the National Security Agency".

The virus exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by U.S. intelligence.

He added the current situation has to be a wake-up call for governments.

Experts described it as the world's "greatest cyber-attack".

This vicious piece of code is a type of a Trojan encryptor created to extort money from users by holding their data to ransom.

American software (Frankfurt: 868053 - news) giant Microsoft (Euronext: MSF.NX - news) held back from distributing a free security update that could have protected computers from the WannaCry global cyber attack, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

Lieu, who noted on his Web site that he is "one of only four computer science majors serving in Congress", supports changing the vulnerabilities equities process (VEP) to ensure greater transparency in how the federal government notifies software companies about bugs it identifies.

The NSA reportedly used its Eternal Blue tool for five years, reaping intelligence secrets from targeted systems.

The cyber attack was so disastrous that Microsoft has taken the rare step of issuing a fix for versions of Windows it had previously "retired" - the Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

It's an invisible and unstoppable attack, and the kind Congressman Ruppersberger has fought in congress for more than a decade and is backing legislation to unite businesses and government agencies against hackers.

"This particular vulnerability was exposed by the WikiLeaks in March saying that the US' NSA was using this vulnerability in Windows operating systems to target individuals".

"The government can't do this alone - they're really going to have to reach out and work with Apple, with Microsoft and Google", Martin said.

"Regularly update the operating systems, with keeping the windows automatic update activated", the advisory said. The malware is supposed to get to your systems through emails or clicking on the links and opening attachments in spam emails and downloading from unknown sources.

Researchers are keen to point out that more investigation is needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn. Evidently we need stronger incentives not just for companies to release more secure products, but also for users to keep them updated and to protect their data with encryption and backups.

"T$3 his attack demonstrates the degree to which cybersecurity has become a shared responsibility between tech companies and customers", Smith said in his blog post.

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