Sci-tech

Microsoft Criticizes Government Creation of Hacking Tools

Microsoft Criticizes Government Creation of Hacking Tools

Experts and officials offered differing estimates of the scope of the attacks, but all agreed it was huge.

But this still shouldn't make smartphone users be as concerned as even the attackers are looking at easier options who are more likely to pay-up. And Washington had no trustworthy proofs to sustain prohibitions on Chinese tech companies in the United States of America after the WannaCry ransomware attack.

"In our research, we found that a large percentage of attacks globally by WannaCry happened in India and the country was third on the total number of attacks", said Altaf Halde, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab, South Asia. But U.K. hospitals, Chinese universities and global firms like Fedex also reported they had come under assault. "There is this stream of liability that flows from the ransomware attack", he said.

Europol said it does not know the motive behind it. "It's a big priority of mine that we protect the financial infrastructure", he said. WannaCry, on the other hand, threatens to permanently lock away user files if the computer owner doesn't pay a ransom, which starts at $300 but goes up after two hours.

This one worked because of a "perfect storm" of conditions, including a known and highly unsafe security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn't apply Microsoft's March software fix, and malware created to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks.

As reported earlier, there were fears that Indian banks' ATMs would be worst hit because of old systems.

At this point, there are several ways to stay protected against WannaCry and similar forms of malware, but the most convenient, especially if you're running genuine Windows, is to install the latest updates released by Microsoft. It had done a patch for the ransomware in March and it rolled it out to millions of their machines.

However, a hacker could change the code to remove the domain name and try the ransomware attack again.

NHS Digital, the body that oversees cybersecurity in Britain's health system, said that as of now, it has "no evidence that patient data has been compromised".

"There is a lack of transparency in India, in spite of a mandatory requirement for banks and listed companies to disclose cyber-attack, however, very few banks and companies do that", Tushar Ajinkya, Partner, DSK Legal said.

"Global internet security has reached a moment of emergency", Qihoo360 warned. "When I opened the laptop on Tuesday, I was shocked to see the ransomware message on the screen", he said. Microsoft is also telling customers to update all their anti-malware, virus protection software.

The effects were felt across the globe, with Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the USA and French carmaker Renault all reporting disruptions.

Here's what we now know about the ransomware known as WannaCry, which locked up digital photos, documents and other files to hold them for ransom.

Over 100,000 government and private sector organisations in over 150 countries, to include hospitals, factories, businesses, and government departments have been affected though so far the Middle East has managed to avoid any serious disruption.

Computer security experts have assured individual computer users who have kept their PC operating systems updated that they are relatively safe.

"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", wrote Smith in a blog post on Sunday.


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