Science

USA should not stockpile cyber weapons, Microsoft says

USA should not stockpile cyber weapons, Microsoft says

The NSA has also been held partly to blame for the attack because it had not alerted Microsoft about the weakness in its system until the NSA's software that exploited it had been stolen and leaked to the public. Once the ransomware gets into a network, it spreads quickly onto any unpatched Windows computers.

Russian president Vladimir Putin, noting the technology's link to the USA spy service, said it should be "discussed immediately on a serious political level". "They've been able to manage through it". But many corporations don't automatically update their systems because Windows updates can screw up their legacy software programs.

The investigations into the attack were in the early stages, however, and attribution for cyber attacks is notoriously hard. But the South Korean cinema chain CJ CGV Co. was restoring advertising servers at dozens of theaters after the attack left the company unable to display trailers of upcoming movies.

Chinese state media said 29,372 institutions there had been infected along with hundreds of thousands of devices. Quick Heal said there have been over 700 distress calls by customers in the last few days, following the discovery of the attacks which has impacted 150 countries globally. "On China's most prestigious college campuses, students reported being locked out of their final papers". "As a result, hospitals, businesses, governments, and computers at homes were affected". "However, Hitachi and others have mostly only reported loss of email and other secondary functionalities".

In India, there were reports of some systems of Andhra Pradesh police being affected on Saturday, although CERT-In has said that the PCs were isolated and not on a network.

Malware-tracking maps show WannaCry has remained active in Europe over the past 24 hours.

Emergency meetings have been held in the USA to assess the threat posed by the global attack.

None of the 15 large Canadian enterprises who are members of the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange have reported being successfully attacked by this particular malware, said executive director Robert Gordon.

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits", Europol's European Cybercrime Center says.

The identity of whoever deployed the software remains unknown.




"The governments of the world must adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world", Brad said."The WannaCrypt attack is a wake-up call for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them."At the same time, Microsoft has advised people and organizations to update their systems "otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past".

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".

Theft of the software was reported in April, when it was published by the Shadow Brokers, a group that has been linked to Russian Federation.

They proposed a plan to improve cyber security that included a replacement of outdated systems "as a matter of urgency", calling its continued use "one of the most pressing issues facing IT infrastructure" in the NHS.

Security solutions providers have also accelerated efforts to develop tools to tide over the crisis.

Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the United Kingdom hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out. Activating the domain worked as a kill switch for the malware. The attackers could also hit back with a variant of the malware that does not have a provision for the "kill switch" found by a researcher to stem the first round of attacks.

"Install the official patch from Microsoft that closes the vulnerability used in the attack".

It says the latest virus exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows identified by, and stolen from, USA intelligence.

The news led software security providers to ramp up anti-malware software.


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