Sci-tech

What we know about the global cyberattack

What we know about the global cyberattack

That means the very first attempts to reach that address, which might have been recorded by spy agencies such as the NSA or Russian intelligence, could lead to "patient zero" — the first computer infected with WannaCry.

Those who do shouldn't expect a quick response - or any response at all.

The hackers sent another chilling message the day before the deadline which stated that full payment - using bitcoins - would guarantee full decryption for what they described as "honest customers". In 2015, some estimated $24 million was paid to unlock computers, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; in 2016, it hit a dazzling $1 billion. "It's better for [the victims] to save their money and rebuild the affected computers".

Tom Bossert, assistant to the United States president for homeland security and counterterrorism, has said that less than $70,000 has been paid to the hackers, and that he was not aware of any payments that led to data recovery.

The infection strikes by encrypting all the files on the PC and then displaying a ransom note demanding US$300 or $600 in bitcoin. If payment is not made after seven days, the encrypted files will be deleted. One commenter on Troy Hunt's blog said they paid and did not get their files back.

"A manual human operator must activate decryption", Matthew Hickey, a cyber-security researcher at UK-based firm Hacker House stated post the attacks. "To buy a bitcoin in India, most (bitcoin) wallets need PAN and other KYC details to authenticate an account", said Shree Parthasarathy, partner at Deloitte, adding that it would take about 48 hours to load a bitcoin wallet through startups such as Zebpay, Coinsecure, and Unocoin. "It's one of the tools in their pockets", said cybersecurity and Bitcoin expert Florin Lazurca, the senior technical marketing manager for security at Citrix Systems. Instead, users are left with a button on the displayed ransom note that says "check payment". But, said Bossert, "I don't want to say that we have no clues". Their failure to decrypt files even after users have paid serves as a very salient lesson to anyone effected by ransomware: there is little benefit in paying the ransom.

However, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security vendor F-Secure, tweeted on Monday that some victims who paid did get their files back.

The main source of the ransomware problem is not so much Bitcoin, it's insecure computers.

Check Point has identified three Bitcoin addresses associated with WannaCry - and this is the cause for concern.

In total, the hackers behind WannaCry made $69,535 by Tuesday morning, as payments continued to flow in.

"If it was done for money, it wasn't the smartest way to get it", he said.

Generally speaking, media coverage of the bitcoin ransom demands could actually spur more mainstream adoption of the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Casinos offer the same selection of casino games as traditional online casinos do and, in most cases, there is a great variety to choose from. This might feel like anti-climax for a global cyber attack which affected government offices, school and hospitals among many, but is a well thought move. The coins are created by users who "mine" them by lending computing power to verify other users' transactions. The fact that there was a "kill switch" in the ransomware, which a researcher was able to activate on Friday, stopping the attack at least temporarily, suggests the coders were sloppy.

A reminder: Updating Windows with the latest security patch can successfully inoculate any computer that has not already been infected.

"The implementation of the encryption was pretty rock solid", said Symantec's Thakur. Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) is urging victims not to pay the ransom.

You could run Microsoft's free anti- virus software for Windows.


  • Former National Security Adviser Has Not Responded To Subpoena

    That's according to the panel's chairman, Republican Sen. "But we'll figure out on General Flynn what the next step-if any-is". That process could take years due to procedure, Politico reports.

    Ranieri, Silva in mix to succeed Mazzarri at Watford

    Watford can not be relegated, but has lost its last five games to drop to 16th place in the 20-team league. That important people in English football, and Alan Shearer praised the team which filled me with pride.

    Oilers dominate Ducks to force Game 7

    So it's nearly like taking a hit. "I didn't know what it was going to look like, and it was hard, it was hard", Armstrong said. But there's no question that the man who is the rock, the wall, the backstop, the heart and soul of this run, is Pekke Rinne.
  • Hot Stock seeking Investors: Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR)

    Standpoint Research lowered Juniper Networks from a "buy" rating to a "reduce" rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. The highest price JNPR stock touched in the last 12 month was $30.96 and the lowest price it hit in the same period was $20.94.

    Korea, US, Japan assure unity against N. Korea's provocation

    Analysts said the UN Security Council would likely discuss new sanctions, with China possibly playing a role in their formation. The missile travelled some 700km (435 miles), reaching an altitude of 2,000km and landing in the sea west of Japan.

    Mourinho: I won´t make mistakes in my second season

    He also said he had made no attempt to request a change in date because he is convinced it would be rejected, adding "I hope you don't kill me when you see my team ".
  • Deadline to register to vote in General Election 2017 just days away

    To be able to register, residents must have their National Insurance number to hand. To vote in the snap election on 8 June, you need to register by 11:59pm on 22 May .

    Palestine President accorded ceremonial welcome

    The Palestinian leader will this evening attend a function at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi. The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, regional and worldwide issues.

    1 firefighter killed, 2 seriously hurt in San Antonio fire

    A Thursday night blaze at a shopping center led to the death of one firefighter and injuries for two others. Fighting back tears, the chief asked San Antonio to pray for the fire department.
  • Premier League Kane moves into top gear to become leading scorer

    In fact, the 2015/16 champions have not managed to keep a clean sheet against Tottenham Hotspur in almost 20 years. The Algerian striker has managed to score 7 goals and provide 3 assists in his debut premier league season.

    The role of a special counsel in Washington D.C.

    It was an unusual spot for the veteran prosecutor, who cultivated a reputation as an apolitical law enforcement official. Unlike his unusually candid predecessor Comey, Mueller is a notoriously tight-lipped investigator.

    Ford might cut global workforce by 10 percent, reports claim

    Ford said in January it was cancelling a planned Mexico plant and adding 700 jobs in MI . "Car companies coming back to U.S. The buyout offers were a fraction of the 20,000 job cuts that some news outlets had reported Ford could announce this week.