Science

Microsoft says cyberattack should be wake up call for governments

Microsoft says cyberattack should be wake up call for governments

The UK could be hit by another cyber attack tomorrow, a security researcher who halted the spread of ransomware during Friday's worldwide attack has warned.

Then, there were users who failed to quickly update their software after Microsoft released a fix in March. Britain canceled or delayed treatments for thousands of patients, even people with cancer. Renault's futuristic assembly line in Slovenia, where rows of robots weld vehicle bodies together, was stopped cold.

Security experts warn there is no guarantee that access will be granted after payment. Yet systems around the world were crippled by human error - failure to do software updates and employees clicking on email attachments that contained the malware.

In a blog post Saturday, MalwareTech explained he returned from lunch with a friend on Friday and learned that networks across Britain's health system had been hit by ransomware, tipping him off that "this was something big". The British Home Secretary said most of the NHS systems were back to normal by midday Saturday.

"It seems that a lot of internet security guys over the weekend did their homework and ran the security software updates".

She said: "If you look at who's been impacted by this virus, it's a huge variety across different industries and across global governments". Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion.

Many security firms are already aware of WannaCry in past forms and most are looking at this one right now to see how it might be stopped.

The attack, which locked up computers and held users' files for ransom, was believed the biggest of its kind ever recorded.

In the case of WannaCry, the program encrypts your files and demands payment in bitcoin in order to regain access.

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(AP Photo/Matt Dunham). An exterior view shows the main entrance of St Bartholomew's Hospital, in London, one of the hospitals whose computer systems were affected by a cyberattack, Friday, May 12, 2017.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Smith's post, Larry Magid, a technology journalist and CEO of ConnectSafely.org, said: "There is some speculation that this code was being stored in the NSA labs, potentially as a cyberweapon that the USA might have used against its own adversaries".

The railway said that there was no impact on actual train services. "What if the same exact thing happened to a water dam or to a bridge?" he asked. The statement said antivirus systems are working to destroy it. "There's no barrier to do it tomorrow to 100 million computers".

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex global investigation to identify the culprits", said Europol, Europe's police agency.

But he also blamed the governments. Russia's health ministry said its attacks were "effectively repelled".

According to reports, ATMs or automated teller machines are highly vulnerable to such malware attacks as they now run on old version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, making a software security patch update a necessary exercise.

"Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past".

Darien Huss, a 28-year-old research engineer who assisted the anonymous British researcher lauded a hero, said he was "still anxious for what's to come in the next few days because it really would not be so hard for the actors behind this to re-release their code without a kill switch or with a better kill switch".

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