Published: Sun, May 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Cyber attack could spark lawsuits but not against Microsoft

One theory suggested that 90 percent of NHS trusts across the United Kingdom were using Microsoft's 16-year-old OS Windows XP, which could leave them susceptible to attacks. Once the ransomware infects a system, all its files are encrypted, and the attackers then demand a $300 payment in bitcoin so that the files will be unlocked.

The government on Monday tried to allay fears over the impact of the cyber-attack that hit businesses and institutions in 150 countries across the globe on India.

But some other technology industry executives said privately that it reflected a widely held view in Silicon Valley that the US government is too willing to jeopardize internet security in order to preserve offensive cyber capabilities.

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call", Smith said.

Edward Snowden, who famously leaked many internal NSA files in June 2013, criticised the NSA on Friday in a series of tweets. ".@NSAGov's choices risked permitting low-skill criminals launch government-scale attacks, and then it happened", Snowden tweeted on Saturday. With strong alertness, the security precautions needed to prevent it from spreading began to be used around the world. A patch is a software used to correct any loophole in a programme including security vulnerabilities. So far there have been no reports of New Zealand government computers being hit.

A United Kingdom -based security researcher who goes by the name MalwareTech put a stop to the spread of WannaCry on Friday by registering a domain name he discovered in the ransomware's code. "The cat-and-mouse will likely continue until [someone] makes a larger change to the malware, removing the kill-switch functionality completely". Different exercises are boycotted, keeping a ransomware from assaulting an ATM. However, as of this morning, there haven't been any signs of widespread renewed activity.

"There's a lot of older Windows products out there that are "end of life" and nobody's bothered to take them out of service", said Cynthia Larose, a cybersecurity expert at the law firm of Mintz Levin.

In addition to Microsoft's Security Bulletin MS17-010 that patched the vulnerability in March, the company also issued a separate patch on Friday for users of older and unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP.

The company reacted to the attacks with a blog post that is worded strongly, thereby criticizing governments for information about vulnerabilities about cybersecurity as stockpiling and likening the WannaCry attack as some Tomahawk missiles got stolen.

The Reserve Bank of India has already all banks to put in place a software update at ATMs to prevent their systems from a malware that has attacked payment systems across the world.

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