Microsoft Criticizes Government Creation of Hacking Tools

Speculation swirled in India over the safety of ATMs after WannaCry disabled more than 200,000 PC in over 150 nations since Friday. It forced the closure of multiple hospitals and ambulance companies, among other services and institutions. An investigation is on-going regarding how the codes got out.

The code for the ransomware unleashed Friday remains freely available on the internet, experts said, so those behind the WannaCry attack - also known as WanaCryptor 2.0 and a variety of other names - could launch new strikes in coming days or weeks.

The infection spread through three vectors.

To ensure safety against any breach, this time, the IT ministry has reached out to key stakeholders like RBI, National Payments Corporation of India, NIC and UIDAI (Aadhaar) to protect the digital payments ecosystems against the "WannaCry" ransomware. Some of the file types WannaCry targets are database, multimedia and archive files, as well as Office documents.

Brad Smith, who is Microsoft's chief legal officer, said Sunday in a blog post that his company, its customers and the government all share the blame.

"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", wrote Smith.

If your system has been compromised, then, first of all, don't every try to pay them as it will encourage the hackers. "The WannaCry ransomware does not look like something that will affect the ATMs in anyway unlike personal/corporate endpoints", said Saket Modi, CEO and co-founder, Lucideus. This is a particular concern for companies with large numbers of computers running specialized software. The software giant criticised the NSA for storing information about software weaknesses - including that of Windows XP - which allowed the hackers to infiltrate unprotected systems.

The list of institutions has grown as more become aware of hacks and as variants of the virus spread. Furthermore, the risks of ransomware compound when organizations lose valuable data that has not been backed up and that cannot be properly restored.

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The phenomenon of companies failing to update their systems has been a persistent security problem for years.

The exploit can infect machines running unpatched versions of Windows by taking advantage of flaws in Microsoft Windows' SMB (Server Message Block). Those include a known and highly risky security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn't apply Microsoft's March software fix, and malware created to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks.

Backup your system fully and on a regular basis. Most importantly, take back-ups.

On social media, students complained about not being able to access their work, and people in various cities said they hadn't been able to take their driving tests over the weekend because some local traffic police systems were down.

He added: "The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call".

However, the huge scale of the ransomware incident has already lead to increased interest in cyber coverage internationally, brokers report.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd - who was chairing a government emergency security meeting Saturday in response to the attack - said 45 public health organizations were hit, though she stressed that no patient data had been stolen.

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