IT

Second wave of ransomware attack targeting out-of-date Windows machines under way

Second wave of ransomware attack targeting out-of-date Windows machines under way

While banks and critical organisations have tightened their security systems following the global WannaCrypt ransomeware assault of the weekend, there is a blame game brewing in the U.S. over who was responsible.

China is preparing to enforce a wide-reaching cyber security law that USA business groups say will threaten the operations of foreign firms in the country with strict local data storage laws and stringent surveillance requirements. A modified version of the exploit was used to carry out the ransomware attack that hit machines in more than 150 countries, including those at hospitals and major corporations. It effectively takes the computer hostage and demands a $300 ransom, to be paid in 72 hours with the bitcoin digital currency. That is what the lawmakers and federal officials should be focusing on - not on trying to discourage consumers from using encryption on their smartphones, or on building stockpiles of malware based on vulnerabilities they alone have found.

Microsoft in a blog post said that, "we at Microsoft have the first responsibility to address these issues".

"Clearly having the vulnerability be in Microsoft software was one of the key elements", said Steve Grobman, chief technology officer of McAfee, a security company in Santa Clara, California. The current version appears to have spread via a flaw in a Windows messaging system that was collected and used by the NSA - and leaked by a group called Shadow Brokers. The software that fixed the WannaCry vulnerability came out in a regular second-Tuesday update, which may have made it seem more routine.

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Keep in mind that Microsoft recently rolled out a security update for Windows XP to patch up the vulnerability exploited by the ransomware but software companies simply can not release security patches every time the some ransomware strikes with lethal outcomes. (Mac users have been unaffected, he said.) Windows XP was released in 2001. When this happens, you can't get to the data unless you pay a ransom.

Even then, there are a number of precautions that people who insist on running outdated programs can take to greatly increase their security, such as running them in virtual machines, via emulators or behind firewalls, or disconnected from the web entirely.

Regardless of what operating system you use - Windows XP, Vista, 7, 10 or MacOS X - make sure auto-updates are turned on, so you get key security patches. The precedent may affect other software sellers too. But they didn't win the race to exploit the flaw as much as people and computer companies collectively lost it. "Going forward, we are going to leverage more", he said.

Who are affected by WannaCry?

Others subsequently confirmed the Google researcher's work.

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The Special Forces are training the rebels to fight ISIS - and also accompanying them on combat missions against the militants. When they did not, the USA fighter jets targeted some of the Syrian vehicles and opened fire.

Banks in Karnataka remained unaffected by the ransomware because they adhered to the advisory issued by the Union ministry of electronics and information technology, and by installing the latest patch. Some security researchers speculated that if the perpetrators were North Korean, the goal may have been to cause a widespread Internet failure to coincide with last weekend's latest missile test.

The spread of WannaCry ransomware has been wreaking havoc across the world since May 12, and several Vietnamese businesses and agencies are advised to take cautions.

"For Microsoft to say that governments should stop developing exploits to Microsoft products is naive", said Brian Lord, a managing director at PGI Cyber and former deputy director at the Government Communications Headquarters, one of the U.K.'s intelligence agencies.

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Also, EVP Vincent Molinaro sold 8,285 shares of the company's stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 22nd. STENSRUD WILLIAM sold $303,863 worth of Juniper Networks, Inc . (NYSE:JNPR) for 28,827 shares. 10,000 Juniper Networks, Inc .


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