White House: Blame cyberattack on hackers, not spy agencies

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 17, 2017

Security wonks are calling it the biggest cyberattack ever.

May 12 computers around the world began to attack virus-extortionist WannaCrypt.

Quartz now reports that in 24 hours, the rate of computers online and infected has plummeted, from hundreds of thousands to simply hundreds. The hackers then demand $300 in order to release control of the files. The ransomware, called Wanna Decryptor, WCry or WannaCry, targets a Microsoft Windows vulnerability. It has been suspected for some time now that the malware came from a cache of hacking tools reportedly stolen by hacking group Shadow Brokers from the NSA and leaked on the internet. Microsoft patched their weak spot last March but those that didn't update their software were vulnerable to the hack.

How often do you update your computer's operating software? Playing with fire finally caught up with the victims.

Customers using Windows Defender were also provided an update that detects the threat as Ransom:Win32/WannaCrypt.

The government on Monday tried to allay fears over the impact of the cyber-attack that hit businesses and institutions in 150 countries across the globe on India.

The breach was first reported at Britain's National Health Service.

United Kingdom hospitals had thousands of these older machines; that's why the virus hit hard there. And Russia was apparently the hardest hit, with railways, banks and mobile operators knocked out, said BBC reporter Zoe Kleinman.

Anyone who hasn't updated their Windows PC recently.

Carmaker Renault said one of its French plants, which employs 3,500 people, wasn't reopening Monday as a "preventative step".

Microsoft has released an emergency patch to fix a vulnerability in Windows exploited by the WannaCry ransomware to devastating effect this weekend.

Now they are asking anything between Rs. 19,000 to Rs. 39,000 in India in form of Bitcoins in order to decrypt the data back.

The worldwide cyber attack was orchestrated using a malware called Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry.

The hackers remain anonymous for now, but it appears that they are amateurs. The expert, known only by pseudonym MalwareTech, found - and activated - a kill switch in the code. "In previous cases we have been able to work with law enforcement to see where the funds move because ultimately the attacker wants to turn it back into a currency they want to spend", Smith explained.

Researchers who helped prevent the spread of the malware and cybersecurity firms madly worked around the clock during the weekend to monitor the situation and install a software patch in corporations across the U.S., Europe and Asia that would block the worm from infecting computers. The payment machines at 262 parking garages across the country didn't work due to the attack, which meant that customers couldn't pay for their parking and that Q-Park had to leave the booms open.

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