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India largely escapes WannaCry attack

19 May 2017

However, the global media suggest that there were few fresh attacks in parts of Asia and Europe on the day.

The leaks, and the global WannaCry virus attack, have renewed debate over how and when intelligence agencies should disclose vulnerabilities used in cyber spying programs to so that businesses and consumers can better defend themselves against attacks.

The malware targets the outdated or legacy computer systems that run on old versions of Microsoft operating systems (OS). He said there is an opportunity for the United Kingdom, and other countries across the European Union, to drive better practices when they come to implement the EU's Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive.

Hundreds of thousands of computers have been affected so far.

The UK's National Health Service (NHS), multinational courier delivery services company FedEx and vehicle manufacturers Nissan and Renault were among the worst hit by the attacks. The UAE on Saturday confirmed that no cases of the malware attacks have been reported in the country.

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"We're trawling through huge amounts of data associated with the attack and identifying patterns", said Lynne Owens, Director General of the National Crime Agency, the UK's organised crime fighting taskforce.

The malicious software hit tens of thousands of systems in hospitals, schools, vehicle factories, shops and more, locking computers worldwide with an unprecedented global reach. "Microsoft worked throughout the day to ensure we understood the attack and were taking all possible actions to protect our customers".

Don't grumble when your system administrator at work takes the network down periodically to update systems, which usually includes installing new and often critical software patches.

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday. They say it will continue to spread in a modified form.

"We have been strengthening our cyber security and I can proudly say that the recent cyber-attack had almost zero per cent impact in India", he said.

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Birdsey said that the WannaCry attack should prompt organisations to review their cybersecurity practices including their readiness for cyber attack.

Earlier on Monday, Chinese traffic police and schools reported they had been targeted as the attack rolled into Asia but there were no major disruptions.

For all the worldwide chaos they have caused, the ransomware attack's perpetrators have reportedly made little more than less than $70,000, according to Tom Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.

Furthermore, credentials of 20,000 GCC employees were compromised and leaked online a year ago.

Becky Pinkard, from Digital Shadows, a UK-based cyber-security firm, also said it would be easy for the initial attackers or "copy-cat authors" to change the virus code so it is hard to guard against.

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Governments "need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world", Smith says, urging agencies to "consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits". "Hence, I do not think that machines will be particularly vulnerable to such malware attacks, which encrypt files", said the CEO of an ATM manufacturing company.