Expert finds more North Korea links in ransomware attack

But reports soon came in from all over the world. Granted, 200,000 spread out over 150 countries may not seem much, but infrastructure-wise it stretched its infectious influence very far.

What is WannaCry, what are ransomware viruses and will my personal computer be affected by the widespread online attack?

Three variants of the ransomware have been detected.

However, this may be the first time in internet history that a ransomware outbreak is reported with such level of severity. "We have seen earlier that black hats would mainly attack and deface Indian websites but now the objective is mainly money".

Authorities are investigating who is behind the attacks, but a Russian cyber criminal group is suspected. Microsoft has sent sounded out a warning to establishments worldwide, urging them to treat this malware attack as a "wake-up call", but hasn't taken responsibility for exposing hundreds of thousands of users to extortion by cyber attackers such as ShadowBrokers. Having the backup can help assure you don't lose anything, and if needed you will have options if you get tagged by a ransom ware hack. "We've already started getting the phone calls", he said.

The National Security Agency identified a security vulnerability in the Windows XP operating system that could be exploited to allow computers to be infected with viruses.

On the other hand, says company president Brad Smith in a blog post over the weekend, the WannaCrypt exploit drew on vulnerabilities the NSA stockpiled but did not publicize or even report covertly to Redmond.

The security firm Kaspersky Lab, based in Russian Federation, noted that Microsoft had repaired the software problem that allows backdoor entry into its operating systems weeks before hackers published the exploit linked to the NSA, but also said: "Unfortunately it appears that many users have not yet installed the patch". "India is not at all the victim of the attack in the manner the other countries of the world are facing today", said Ravi Shankar Prasad.

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Whenever Microsoft learns of vulnerabilities with its operating systems (OS) it releases a Security Update.

NSA does not discuss its capabilities, and some computer experts say the MS17-010 exploit was developed by unknown parties using the name Equation Group (which may also be linked to NSA).

It should be noted that Microsoft makes it clear that when an older operating system reaches end-of-life, it no longer receives free support.

Although the NHS is clearly under tight financial constraints, governments have significant resources to mitigate cyber-threats and can raise large amounts of money if politicians choose to do so. In what it said was a "highly unusual" step, Microsoft also agreed to provide the patch for older versions of Windows, including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

According to Microsoft, the affected computers did not have security patches.

"We believe the recent ransomware attack could accelerate the Windows upgrade cycle for enterprises, which would drive further upside to Office 365 Commercial MAUs [monthly active users] beyond what is now factored into our estimates", he added. Certainly, organizations that can keep their software updated should do so.

Some experts also believe that a widespread use of bootleg software in India might have forced companies to cover up their losses as they can not report the same due to licensing issues. Often they don't even have the awareness that there's a problem to begin with.

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