IT&Software

WannaCry Ransomware: Microsoft Calls Out NSA For 'Stockpiling' Vulnerabilities

WannaCry Ransomware: Microsoft Calls Out NSA For 'Stockpiling' Vulnerabilities

Just one click on an infected attachment or bad link would lead to all computers in a network becoming infected, said Vikram Thakur, technical director of Symantec Security Response. The main challenge for investigators was the fast-spreading capabilities of the malware, he said, adding that so far not many people have paid the ransoms that the virus demands.

Account addresses hard-coded into the malicious WannaCry software code appear to show the attackers had received just under $32,500 in anonymous bitcoin currency as of 1100 GMT (7 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, but that amount could rise as more victims rush to pay ransoms of $300 or more to regain access to their computers, just one day before the threatened deadline expires.

United States package delivery giant FedEx, European vehicle factories, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, Britain's health service and Germany's Deutsche Bahn rail network were among those hit. It is reported that WannaCry, and variants of it, have hit organisations in 99 countries. On top of that, copycat versions of the malicious software have already started to spread.

"For those organizations who have not yet applied the security update, we suggest you immediately deploy Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010".

"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.

Microsoft said it had released a Windows security update in March to tackle the problem involved in the latest attack, but many users were yet to run it.

Russia's interior ministry said some of its computers had been hit, while the country's banking system was also attacked, although no problems were detected, as was the railway system.

Avast said it had seen over 75,000 cases of the ransomware as of this weekend.

Microsoft distributed a patch two months ago that could have forestalled much of the attack, but in many organizations it was likely lost among the blizzard of updates and patches that large corporations and governments strain to manage.

The indiscriminate attack began Friday and struck banks, hospitals and government agencies, exploiting known vulnerabilities in older Microsoft computer operating systems. The company said the virus has been localized and "technical work is underway to destroy it and update the antivirus protection".

The identity of Shadow Brokers is unknown though many security experts believe the group that surfaced in 2016 is linked to the Russian government.

"The affected computers are those with old Windows, issued in 2008 or earlier".

"Some of our customers are running versions of Windows that no longer receive mainstream support".

NZ cyber security officials say they'll be staying vigilant with the working week starting tomorrow.

As companies and individuals take stock Monday morning, the focus is turning to protecting against further attacks.

Officials across the globe scrambled over the weekend to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that disrupted operations at vehicle factories, hospitals, shops and schools, while Microsoft on Sunday pinned blame on the US government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities. An unidentified young cybersecurity researcher claimed to help halt WannaCry's spread by activating a so-called "kill switch".

The Windows vulnerability in question was purportedly identified by the NSA for its own intelligence-gathering purposes. But some experts have argued this attack could have been vastly mitigated if the NSA told Microsoft sooner.


  • Three Illini football players arrested for armed robbery

    Three Illini football players arrested for armed robbery

    According to police reports, the three Illini football players entered a dormitory room at 3 a.m., at Bromley Hall on campus. Watkins, 18, were the three players arrested in connection with the incident, which took place early on Wednesday morning.
    Trump welcomes Erdogan amid US-Turkey strains

    Trump welcomes Erdogan amid US-Turkey strains

    And for all the talk of their great relationship, President Trump mispronounced Erdogan's name multiple times in his statement. Erdogan is expected to press Trump to refrain from arming Kurdish rebels in Syria , who Turkey considers to be terrorists.
    Google's AdSense to crack down more precisely on publisher violations

    Google's AdSense to crack down more precisely on publisher violations

    Google responded to that conundrum by offering even more controls for ad buyers to identify and exclude certain types of videos. The website or the publisher will now only be taken off the AdSense network in the case of egregious or persistent violations.
  • Fox looks to sci-fi, fantasy this fall; MacFarlane in space

    Fox looks to sci-fi, fantasy this fall; MacFarlane in space

    Ghosted , a buddy comedy starring Craig Robinson and Adam Scott as a pair of Mulder and Scully-lite paranormal investigators. Kelley's nixed Wonder Woman television pilot, has been part of an enormous array of sci-fi films and televisions shows.
    Officials Piece Together Nursing Home Shooting

    Officials Piece Together Nursing Home Shooting

    Two nursing home workers, Cindy Krantz and Marlina Medrano, were found dead at the scene, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said. ORIGINAL: ( NBC News ) - Four people, including a police chief and a gunman, are dead following a shooting at an OH nursing home.
    SpaceX targets launch of communication satellite on Monday

    SpaceX targets launch of communication satellite on Monday

    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off early Monday, carrying a classified National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite into orbit. However, since the company has not brought those into commercial flights yet, it made a decision to go with a regular Falcon.
  • Jimmy Kimmel to return as host of 90th Oscars

    Jimmy Kimmel to return as host of 90th Oscars

    Presumably, he's referring to the infamous Oscars gaffe in which the wrong Best Picture victor was announced. The 90th Annual Academy Awards will be held on March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.
    Rosario Dawson finds cousin dead at 26

    Rosario Dawson finds cousin dead at 26

    TMZ broke the news of Vasquez's death, and according to the site, a toxicology report was run and the results are still pending. Rosario Dawson's cousin has died after the actress reportedly found her lying unresponsive in her California home last week.
    Republican Congressman Targeted Local Progressive Activist by Contacting Her Employer

    Republican Congressman Targeted Local Progressive Activist by Contacting Her Employer

    She says the pressure she received over her political involvement was one of several reasons she made a decision to leave. But at the bottom, in blue pen, Frelinghuysen wrote by hand: "P.S".
  • Lalu's benami property case: IT raids 22 locations

    Lalu's benami property case: IT raids 22 locations

    Last week, he said that "no one knows whether Lalu Prasad would be in jail or outside before the August 27 rally of RJD". However, Lalu's ally JD-U and Congress have adopted a wait and watch stand on the latest developments.

    Canadian woman's cutout of Spicer in bush gets attention

    The "Spy" actress and Joan Schneider then each took a shot before McCarthy sent Joan onto the stage to "host" the show. In a pathos-inducing sequence, Spicer scours the streets of New York City on a motorized podium searching for his pal.
    MP3 format is 'killed off' as founders terminate licensing

    MP3 format is 'killed off' as founders terminate licensing

    Consumers have never had to pay to use any of these formats, so, from where we sit, AAC or MP3 or WMA, it doesn't matter too much. Since it can still license AAC , it's very much in the FIIC's interest for the world to become convinced that the MP3 is dead.