Ways To Beat The WannaCry Ransomware Attack

Ways To Beat The WannaCry Ransomware Attack

Computer giant Microsoft said the attack, which has affected hundreds of thousands of computers, should serve as a wake-up call. The attack mostly impacted computers in Europe and Asia and for the most part spared North America.

Instead of developing hacking tools in secret and holding them for use against adversaries, governments and intelligence agencies should share weaknesses they find with Microsoft and other software makers so that vulnerabilities can be repaired.

"Using outdated versions of Windows that are no longer supported raises a lot of questions", said Christopher Dore, a lawyer specializing in digital privacy law at Edelson PC. They also told not to operate ATMs unless updates are in place.

How should businesses respond to ransomware attacks? CERT-In has come out with list of dos and don'ts and webcast on how to protect networks from the global ransomware attack. "That's liability to individuals, consumers and patients". Also over 60% of the 2.25 lakh ATMs in the country run on the old Windows XP. Then, a 22-year-old security researcher in the United Kingdom who's known by the pseudonym MalwareTech discovered that WannaCry was reaching out to a specific web address every time it infected a new computer.

Jonathan Sander, chief technology officer for STEALTHbits Technologies, called WannaCry "a Frankenstein's monster of vulnerabilities with patches and exploits that were stolen from the NSA and published for all to see". LinkedIn settled for $1.25 million in 2014. Despite the attack being widespread, it's estimated that only about $32,000 were raised by the hackers.

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"It isn't clear that there has been a harm to consumers", he said.

But he aimed his sharpest criticisms at the USA and other nations.

The government today said there was no serious impact on the country from a global ransomware cyberattack, except for a few isolated incidents in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, and steps were being taken to deal with any future threat. Courts have consistently upheld those agreements, he said.

Although the argument that it's the NSA's fault has merit, Microsoft should shoulder blame too, according to Alex Abdo, staff lawyer at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. "It is very hard to hold software manufacturers accountable for flaws in their products". The hackers behind WannaCry only accept ransom paid via BitCoin, a digital currency that ensures that the transaction can not be traced back.

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