Last Friday (12th May 2017), we faced the world's most unsafe ransomware attack.
A patient takes a nap on her wheelchair as she waits with others at the registration desk at Dharmais Cancer Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, May 15, 2017 as the hospital's information system is in trouble by cyberattack.
Global financial and economic losses from the "WannaCry" attack that crippled computers in at least 150 countries could swell into the billions of dollars, making it one of the most damaging incidents involving so-called ransomware. The tools behind the cyber attack allegedly belonged to the US National Security Agency.
By now everyone knows that the world is reeling under a Ransomware virus attack threat called WannaCry. They demanded $300 in virtual currency Bitcoin for accessing user files.
"More action is needed, and it's needed now", he said.
The attack exploited vulnerabilities in systems running older versions of Windows, including XP and Windows 8.
"Using outdated versions of Windows that are no longer supported raises a lot of questions", said Christopher Dore, a lawyer specializing in digital privacy law at Edelson PC. The badly affected National Health Service in United Kingdom said seven out of 47 trusts that were hit were still facing serious issues. 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.
Report by various security solutions firms over the weekend had claimed that India is amongst the countries worst affected by the "WannaCry" outbreak, accounting for about five per cent of the attacks.
Researchers at Symantec and Kaspersky Lab have found similarities between WannaCry and previous attacks blamed on North Korea. Founded in 2013, the company is headquartered in San Jose and managed by leading security experts from Palo Alto Networks, FireEye, Google and Yahoo.
"For Microsoft to say that governments should stop developing exploits to Microsoft products is naive", said Mr Brian Lord, a managing director at PGI Cyber and former deputy director at the Government Communications Headquarters, one of the UK's intelligence agencies.
Many computer systems around the world are back up after being frozen in a massive cyber-extortion attack. Microsoft also took the unusual step of releasing security fixes for systems it no longer is keeping up to date, including the Windows XP, first released in 2001 and still widely used in some corners. "Even if a machine were to get affected it can be reformatted and put to use immediately", Manohar Bhoi, president (technology) at Electronic Payments and Services - a management services firm that handles ATMs for public sector banks - told Times of India. It said there have been over 700 distress calls by customers in the last few days, following the discovery of the attacks which has impacted 150 countries globally.
Some 47 NHS trusts fell victim to these ransomware attacks resulting in devastating consequences for some patients, as operations were cancelled and medical records held for ransom.