Log in, look out: Cyber chaos spreads with workweek's start

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Microsoft has labelled a continuing wave of global cyber-attack, the largest in history, as a "wake-up call" to governments after hackers operating 'ransomware software successfully seized control of at least 200,000 computers running an outdated version of the Windows operating system.

"Given the potential impact to customers and their businesses, we made the decision to make the security update for platforms in custom support only, Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003, broadly available".

"There's some truth to the idea that people are always going to hack themselves", said Dan Wire, a spokesman for security firm FireEye. But U.K. hospitals, Chinese universities and global firms like Fedex also reported they had come under assault.

In Kerala, computers of two village panchayats were hit, with messages demanding $300 in virtual currency to unlock the files.

Just one person in an organization who clicked 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 company's top lawyer said the government should report weaknesses they discover to software companies rather than seek to exploit them.

Once your files are encrypted, your options are limited.

"Very few banks if any have been affected because they've learned from painful experience of being the number one target for cybercrime", he said on ITV's Peston on Sunday program.

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Till now, more than 150 countries have been affected by WannaCry ransomware, which exploits EternalBlue vulnerability and uses phishing emails.

The other thing that can be incredibly helpful is you want to make sure you've got a really good backup system. Back up your data on an offline hard drive. 4.

To Microsoft's credit a patch for the legacy software - Windows XP - was deployed at the weekend. Updating software will take care of some vulnerability.

Organizations are scrambling to apply the latest security patch to their computers to prevent the spread of the attack. "I hope that if another attack occurs, the damage will be a lot less".

Activity has been partially interrupted on Saturday at the Dacia plants of Mioveni, following a cyberattack that affected some of the information systems, according to a company release sent on Saturday. The same goes for cloud services, though they can be helpful.

Consumers who have up-to-date software are protected from this ransomware. Low-end criminals take advantage of less-savvy users with such known viruses, even though malware is constantly changing and antivirus is frequently days behind detecting it. System administrators should ensure that employees don't have unnecessary access to parts of the network that aren't critical to their work.

Some organizations disconnect computers as a precautionary measure. Hackers will sometimes encourage you to keep your computer on and linked to the network, but don't be fooled. There's also no guarantee all files will be restored. Data of the users who transacted from ATM machines of Hitachi were compromised during the months of May, June and July previous year. The kill switch, found in this instance by a cybersecurity researcher called MalwareTech, doesn't decrypt the files that are already compromised, and it doesn't appear that the encryption has its own exploitable flaw.

"If there is a silver lining to it, you're not out a million dollars", he said.

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