Hi-Tech

Security Experts Are Ready For Second Wave Of Ransomware Attack

Security Experts Are Ready For Second Wave Of Ransomware Attack

The WannaCry worm has affected more than 200,000 Windows computers around the world since Friday, disrupting auto factories, global shipper FedEx Corp and Britain's National Health Service, among others.

A patient takes a nap on her wheelchair as she waits with others at the registration desk at Dharmais Cancer Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, May 15, 2017 as the hospital's information system is in trouble by cyberattack. Ransomware is a malicious software that prevents users from accessing their computers by encrypting the data on the device.

At least one Australian business has been affected by the global "WannaCry" ransomware attack, the nation's Cyber Security Minister confirmed.

Chan reminded all levels of schools and education units to exercise caution and because the malware mainly attacks computers running the Windows operating system, he recommends regularly installing Windows security updates. A group called the Shadow Brokers were able to steal the tools last summer and started publishing them online.




It also infected computers at a business in Taiwan, which apparently paid $1,000 in bitcoin to unlock files held hostage by the program. ATM machines run on Windows software which have been proved vulnerable to attack and more than 60 percent of the 2.25 lakh ATMs in the country run on the outdated Windows XP. A lot of organisations and individuals in India still rely on the Windows XP.

The IT ministry has also reached out to agencies such as RBI, NPCI and UIDAI, to warn them about the risks associated with WannaCry, and help secure their systems, to make sure that digital payments in India are not affected. However, in the aim of keeping pace with patches and upgrades, vast networks as the UK's National Health Service can avoid that Microsoft says are the "two serious forms of cybersecurity threats- nation-state action and organized criminal action".

Despite the high profile of WannaCry, widespread malware outbreaks have become less common over the years, as Microsoft has improved the security of its systems, said Ziv Mador, vice president for security research at Trustwave, a security services firm. Chinese media reported that more than 29,000 institutions in the country were infected by the attack, while the Japanese media has claimed that more than 600 companies were hit. The domain turned out to be a kill switch left in the code to stop the ransomware's propagation. Founded in 2013, the company is headquartered in San Jose and managed by leading security experts from Palo Alto Networks, FireEye, Google and Yahoo.

The ransomware takes over users' files, demanding $300 (£230) to restore them. "Unfortunately, most people don't have them", Abrams says.


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