Microsoft's President Reflects On Cyberattack, Helping Pirates And The NSA

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"The NCSC has been working around round the clock with numerous partners, including the National Crime Agency, NHS Digital UK and worldwide partners, to respond to this cyber attack".

"The WannaCry ransomware attack is the largest we've ever seen", said Mike Fey, president and chief operating officer at Symantec. It first disrupted health care networks in Britain and telecommunications networks in Spain before expanding to more than 100 nations.

After infecting over two lakh computers and crippling life in 150 countries, the global ransomware attack continued for the third day on Monday, with more reports of hacking pouring in from India, China and Japan as offices re-opened after a tumultuous weekend.

Assistant Police Inspector (API) and In-charge of Cyber Cell of Nagpur Police, Vishal Mane informed The Hitavada that the attack of Ransomware is not yet discovered under jurisdiction of Nagpur Police but the cyber cell is vigilant and ready to tackle the virus, if the system is under threat. It locked down victim's computers and then threatened to delete the files if they didn't pay $300.

Three variants of the ransomware have been detected. "Be wary of unexpected emails especially if they contain links and attachments".

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.

Further to ensure that individual laptops or desktops of employees do not remain vulnerable, banks have been instructed to update the patch in all the employee computers connected with their system.

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"The goal of our intelligence community is to have a stockpile of tools to attack high-value targets", he said.

Microsoft is pointing its finger at the US Government, while many experts say the software giant is also accountable. The malware has been identified using 27 different languages.

Experts are investigating the possibility North Korea was involved in a cyber attack that continues to cause disruption across the NHS.

But even now, security experts aren't certain how the WannaCry infection was spread. "Attribution can be hard here". The way ransomware works is that it encrypts files on computers, often rendering them impossible to recover without paying the attackers.

Microsoft issued a security update for the vulnerability on March 14, 2017. Fortune reported that the five biggest cybersecurity-related companies (by one measure)-Cisco, Symantec, Check Point Software, Juniper Networks, and Palo Alto Networks-increased their collective market capitalization by $5.9 billion in early trading Monday. It has not responded to repeated requests for comment about the ransomware attack.

WannaCry spreads itself within corporate networks, without user interaction, exploiting a known vulnerability in Microsoft Windows.

Jonathan Zittrain, a professor specializing in internet law at Harvard Law School, said courts have frequently dismissed lawsuits against the agency on the grounds they might result in the disclosure of top secret information. The cybercriminal will later demand a ransom for releasing the encrypted files.

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