Ransomware attack again thrusts US spy agency into unwanted spotlight


Earlier in the day, the Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In), under the IT Ministry, held a web conference, sharing technical details of the attack and precautions to be taken.

Those infected with WannaCry were informed their files would be released if they paid $300 in digital currency Bitcoin, although the ransoms were reportedly up to $600 by Monday afternoon.

It is a malicious piece of software, and it blocks access to computers until you pay the money.

Cyber security expert Matthieu Suiche has posted a number of updates on Twitter with the latest figures.

Theft of the software was reported in April, when it was published by the Shadow Brokers, a group that has been linked to Russian Federation.

The attacks exploited the computers because they were running outdated versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

India faced a malware attack past year and 3.2 lakh debit cards were compromised. Though most of the core financial systems are behind strong defences, the front-end software are exposed and are now being secured.

"The massive malware attack that hit multiple countries has caused chaos and has shut down vital institutions such as hospitals", U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) said Friday in a statement. It locked down victim's computers and then threatened to delete the files if they didn't pay $300.

British media were hailing as a hero a 22-year-old computer security whiz who appeared to have helped stop the attack from spreading by discovering a "kill switch" - an internet address which halted the virus when activated.

This does indicate that attacks, both from the WannaCry authors and other cybercriminals, will likely continue and, despite patches being available, many systems will likely remain vulnerable for some time to come. For your system to become infected, you'll have to click on or downloading the attachment or file, which causes the program to run and infect your computer with ransomware. Researchers say new variants of the software have a similar kill switch, but they refer to different domains. The initial attack had started after many offices had closed Friday. Most of the federal agencies have completely stopped the use of Microsoft XP.

However, in response, Microsoft states it has developed and released a special update for Windows XP although this particular version is no longer serviced by the tech giant. Now, the Navy is shifting towards the use of Windows 10.

In India, more than "more than 100 systems of the Andhra Pradesh police department" were affected over the weekend, NDTV reports.

Questions linger as to who is responsible for setting off this global attack on Windows computers - including those belonging to Britain's National Health Service, the Renault SA automaker and other major organizations - and there remains some uncertainty about the scope of the damage over the past few days.

Nearly all the corporations and organisations are upgrading their firewalls. "RBI is also following up with them", he said.

"We are testing software to counter the attack of the ransomware and it is progressing".

Also enjoying strong protection from liability over the cyber attack is the US National Security Agency, whose stolen hacking tool is believed to be the basis for WannaCry.



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