WannaCry Ransomware: Microsoft Calls Out NSA For 'Stockpiling' Vulnerabilities

Attackers are demanding $300 in Bitcoin as part of the ransomware attack

Though the spread of the ransomware slowed Monday, many companies and government agencies were still struggling to recover from the first attack. The press release adds that the police, industrial authorities and the sectors of computer technology, education, banking and cyber-space, as well as some computer security companies, have already taken measures to respond to the attack. The Administration noted that this global attack shows again the unprecedented challenges ahead in terms of Internet security.

"WannaCry is different from anything we've ever seen before in that it's a union of the old and new", said Haiyan Song, senior vice president of security markets at Splunk, in an email to CRN.

Both joined security officials in urging organizations to protect themselves by installing security fixes right away, running antivirus software and backing up data elsewhere.

"The operating systems on our computers and software downloads are managed centrally so that regular users can not download executable files from the internet without administrative rights", he said in an email.

The malware locked patient files on computers at two hospitals in the capital, Jakarta, a government official said.

The attack held users hostage by freezing their computers, popping up a red screen with the words, "Oops, your files have been encrypted!" and demanding money through online bitcoin payment - $300 at first, rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.

Microsoft released a security patch for the vulnerabilities in March.

"There are other criminals who've launched this attack, and they are ultimately responsible for this", he said.

He said most people "are living an online life", and these agencies have a duty to protect their countries' citizens in that realm as well.

Following a meeting of the Government's Cobra contingencies committee, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said more than a million patients had been treated in the course of Monday.

"Whenever there is a new patch, there is a risk in applying the patch and a risk in not applying the patch", Grobman said.

The attack is mostly focused on Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan, but it also affected hospitals within the U.K.'s National Health Service, Spanish telecommunications company, Telefonica and many governments around the world. The attack mostly impacted computers in Europe and Asia and for the most part spared North America.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, noting the technology's link to the USA spy service, said it should be "discussed immediately on a serious political level".

Hitachi: The Japanese electronics firm said Monday that its computer systems have been experiencing problems since the weekend, including not being able to send and receive emails or open attached files.

On Wednesday, hackers disputed the websites of several French media companies and aerospace giant Airbus AIR.PA .Also, the hack happened four weeks before a British parliamentary election in which national security and the management of the state-run National Health Service (NHS) are important campaign themes.

In Indonesia, two hospitals were affected by the attack.

Smith and others have long advocated that the world's governments need to pledge not to engage in cyberattacks that target civilian infrastructure.

"It's one of those things, in a ideal world, if people were up to date on the patches, this wouldn't be a problem", O'Leary said.

In this case, he said, the NSA apparently handed the WannaCry makers a blueprint — pre-written code for exploiting the flaw, allowing the attackers to essentially cut and paste that code into their own malware.

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