After Ransomware Attack, Wary Banks Shut Down Some ATMs

If WannaCry infects even a single computer in a network, due to one person's negligence, it will immediately spread to each and every computer in the network.

Back up your computer and store the safety version in the cloud or on a drive that is not connected to your computer. Microsoft said last month that the vulnerabilities that were exploited had been patched.

Elements of the malicious software used in Friday's attacks were part of a treasure trove of cyber-attack tools leaked by hacking group the Shadow Brokers in April. Microsoft released a patch for the flaw in March after hackers stole the exploit from the NSA.

This includes whitelisting certain websites and software so only approved programs can run on a computer, or disabling administrative privileges on a company's machines so that only the IT department can download programs.

The phenomenon of companies failing to update their systems has been a persistent security problem for years. Microsoft has released software patches for the security holes, although not everyone has installed those updates.

Global financial and economic losses from the "WannaCry" attack that crippled computers in at least 150 countries could swell into the billions of dollars, making it one of the most damaging incidents involving so-called ransomware. The attack on the British National Health Service that affected 16 hospitals became the most visible and frightening symbol of the attack, after several patients were sent to other hospitals and surgeries were canceled. In the United Kingdom, where the initial attack threw parts of the health care system into chaos Friday, the government scheduled an emergency meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the attack.

Also hit were Deutsche Bahn, the Russian Central Bank, Russian Railways, Russia's Interior Ministry, Megafon and Telefónica. Here is your guide on what is Ransomware WannaCry, Bitcoins and how to protect your Windows laptops and PCs from it.

The WannaCry ransomware targets older versions of Microsoft software, like Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, that are no longer supported by Microsoft.

For all the worldwide chaos they have caused, the ransomware attack's perpetrators have reportedly made little more than less than $70,000, according to Tom Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.

Ignoring the government's directive and legal consequences, some Indian companies hit by the ransomware virus WannaCry are believed to have gone ahead and paid the ransom to get their systems unlocked, according to a report published by The Economic Times. "All the data in the laptop was encrypted and there were no confidential files", he said. Install all Windows updates. 5.

"In light of today's attack, Congress needs to be asking [the NSA] if it knows of any other vulnerabilities in software used in our hospitals", he wrote.

Though a few companies in North America were hit by WannaCry, such as FedEx (FDX), U.S. businesses were largely able to avoid the malware because a 22-year-old British security researcher accidentally found a "killswitch" that halted its spread. "At that point, it will be harder to stop new variants".

However, others focused the blame at institutions for being too slow in updating their systems, given that this attack happened nearly two months after a (free) fix was made available by Microsoft. While India has been spared so far, experts warn the country is at particular risk because of the large number of XP systems still in use, including in government offices.

In the USA, "the list of victims is very small", a Department of Homeland Security official tells NPR, noting that it's still relatively early in the WannaCry attack.

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