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Main » Centre issues 'critical alert' after global 'WannaCry' ransomware cyber attacks

Centre issues 'critical alert' after global 'WannaCry' ransomware cyber attacks

15 May 2017

What is WannaCry - also known as WanaCrypt0r 2.0, WannaCry and WCry?

Meanwhile, petrol stations in the western city of Chongqing were unable to accept card payments after systems at China National Petroleum Corp became infected, the South China Morning Post reported. The attacks used to only be able to target one machine at a time.

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.

But experts and government alike warn against ceding to the hackers' demands. There are some that create pop-ups that are hard or impossible to close, rendering the machine hard or impossible to use.

China's Xinhua News Agency reported that thousands of devices in as many as 29,372 institutions have been infected by the ransomware attack, which created a global mayhem on Friday spreading to almost 100 countries in no time.

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The extortion scheme created chaos in 150 countries and could wreak even greater havoc as more malicious variations appear.

What is so special about WannaCry?

Mr MacGibbon said it was still not known how the virus had originated and then spread, although it was likely the transmission included email.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the ransomware reportedly affected devices belonging to three individuals, who had not installed the latest security updates on their Windows 7 operating system, and were directly connected to the internet. Many security firms are already aware of WannaCry in past forms and most are looking at this one right now to see how it might be stopped.

A month prior, on March 14, Microsoft had released a security update to patch this vulnerability and protect our customers.

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The alert was followed by the Gujarat government's effort to equip state computer systems with anti-virus software tools and upgrade its Microsoft operating systems.

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".

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"This exploit is named as ETERNALBLUE", an advisory issued by the CERT-In, accessed by PTI, said.

What are the preventive measures that can be taken? .

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After the ransomware attack left several NHS services without access to patient data, as well as striking other computers across the globe, Microsoft made a decision to take the necessary actions in patching up those vulnerabilities. It has also advised against opening URLs in unsolicited emails. Be very careful and authenticate the source before enabling macros while using Microsoft Outlook. An updated anti virus software, and enabling a firewall are both highly recommended.