Cry if you WannaCry, but don't blame Microsoft for it

Below are a few excerpts from the article, "3 Steps to Protect Critical Business Data from WannaCry Ransomware Attack".

Employees of Britain's public health service were locked out of computers, systems inside Russia's highly secure Interior Ministry were afflicted, German train passengers were confronted with ransomware messages at stations across the country, universities in China were attacked, and data was held hostage in Australia, Turkey, India, Italy, Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, and more.

Consumers can remedy this by configuring their Windows machines to automatically install the latest software updates. Many experts believe this ransomware campaign to be the result of leaked NSA documents and hacking tools that identified this particular vulnerability, which were stolen from the NSA and released online by Wikileaks.

Unlike many other malicious programmes, WannaCry has the ability to move around a network by itself. The WannaCry ransomware has since Friday infected hundreds of thousands of desktops and laptops running on the Windows operating system.

A similar attack on the specialized control systems that run local infrastructure could be even worse. You also have to be watching your own systems. A wide range of actors-spanning from nation-states, to criminals, to individual hackers-could have been responsible.

This new type of offensive software would bring down an entire company if it does not pay up.

What about ransomware on smartphones? There are good reasons for not instantly applying them - testing bespoke software and the danger of other unknown problems - but these risks must be balanced against the real risk of leaving vulnerabilities in place. There were about1.5 billion smartphones sold past year, according to research company Gartner, Inc.

"If customers have automatic updates enabled or have installed the update, they are protected".

A former U.S. government official said that while Microsoft had significantly improved its security over the past 10 to15 years, it could have acted to protect Windows XP before the ransomware crisis.

That appears to be less of an issue for most smartphone platforms. WannaCry ransomware attack is not affecting devices with Apple's MacOS or those running Linux-based operating systems.

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What else might be the next battleground for ransomware?

"It is deeply disturbing the National Security Agency likely wrote the original malware".

He told me that he tries to push the boundaries of security so last summer he and colleagues tried to find bugs in smart household devices such as fridges and thermostats.

As many have learned, ransomware starts with an unsolicited email, which is created to trick you into clicking on an attachment or visiting a website.

If I were on Windows, I'd take all this very seriously.

"Manufacturers are promising support for perhaps three years".

"It's a really strong overlap", he said. They just happen to hit the motherlode. A bug in the system (for which a fix had been available for as long as two months) has emerged as the chief cause.

Keep all software up-to-date, including all security updates and patches.

Security entrepreneur Ken Munro says smart home devices are the next frontier for malware.

As per the UP police directive, if it attacks your systems, your immediate efforts should be towards preventing further spread of the malware within your environment followed by hunting for any dominant infection and sanitising your network. Researchers have already found variants of the attack, so there is more than just one way it works.

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