Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

WannaCrypt ransomware attack had 'nearly zero' impact in India: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Many computer systems around the world are back up after being frozen in a massive cyber-extortion attack.

With global security reports counting India amongst the worst affected countries, public and private agencies have been working overtime to firewall their systems from any possible attack.

With regards to the threat of further ransomware attacks, the only real way that they can be prevented would be to patch every single vulnerability that the perpetrators could target with the worm. The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about Dollars 300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device. "Unfortunately, most people don't have them", Abrams says. With this attack, Abrams recommends trying to recover the "shadow volume" copies some versions of Windows have. And this is why India is vulnerable to the attacks.

Anyone any individual or organization that has deployed the latest Windows Update will have a fix in place.

Security solutions providers have also accelerated efforts to develop tools to tide over the crisis. FedEx, Nissan, and the United Kingdom's National Health Service were among the victims.

In Kerala, the computers of two village panchayats were hit, with messages demanding $300 in virtual currency to unlock the files. A security researcher in the United Kingdom who goes by the handle MalwareTech found that when the WannaCry malware is starting up, it searches for an oddly named domain on the internet.

It appears that the malware doesn't attack Windows 10 machines, and it may also be sparing Windows XP machines. The researcher found that the attackers accidentally included a kill switch which will stop the ransomware attack.

According to global cyber security firms, paying heed to updates can only save your data from being put to ransom. WannaCry is ransomware - malicious software that encrypts people's data, then demands payment in exchange for decryption. But Cyberdome warns that there are chances for a more unsafe attack. Most of the federal agencies have completely stopped the use of Microsoft XP.

Even though it no longer supports XP, Microsoft took the unusual step of issuing an emergency patch for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003 on Friday night. But many corporations don't automatically update their systems, because Windows updates can screw up their legacy software programs.

It's hard not to engage in a bit of victim-blaming in this situation, especially because security experts say the attacks could have been prevented.

There were fears of a big cyberattack unfolding when offices opened on Monday after the weekend and the government agencies, Reserve Bank of India and Securities and Exchange Board of India were on a vigil against the virus which has wrecked havoc across 150 countries.

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