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Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Technology | By Kate Woods

How to Protect Yourself from 'Ransomware'

How to Protect Yourself from 'Ransomware'

A kill switch, an emergency stop in the software's code, was used to halt the spread of the ransomware, but Nancy McDonnell, who leads Illinois Valley Community Hospital's IT department, said there's already a version of the virus without a kill switch.

Plus, Staats said there are other variants of ransomware to worry about too.

"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. Avoid clicking or opening any such attachment.

"Then it essentially goes through your computer", Staats said.

Nonetheless, it means that the success rate of the crime is incredibly high - at around 65%, as sensitive and important documents are often the target of the infection.

This renders the files inaccessible.

Once your files are encrypted, your options are limited.

"They're holding your stuff ransom", Staats said.

"The governments of the world must adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world", Brad said."The WannaCrypt attack is a wake-up call for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them."At the same time, Microsoft has advised people and organizations to update their systems "otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past".

The number of those affected is likely to grow as more victims come forward and similar mutations to WannaCry begin to find their way into networked systems.

Europol said it does not know the motive behind it.

Until Monday evening, around 300,000 systems in almost 100 countries were infected by the WannaCry malware.

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The vulnerability, known as EternalBlue, was made public after a batch of National Security Agency cybertools were reportedly leaked in April. He compared it to stolen missiles being used against the military. Recovery from backups is one of them.

However, it seems that those with Windows XP are most largely hit by the ransomware.

The ransomware mixes copycat software loaded with amateur coding mistakes and recently leaked spy tools widely believed to have been stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency, creating a vastly potent class of crimeware.

So what has been the impact of WannaCry on Indian companies?

The latest ransomware was successful because of a confluence of factors.

"While it would be satisfying to hold accountable those responsible for this hack - something that we are working on quite seriously - the worm is in the wild, so to speak, at this point, and patching is the most important message as a result", said Bossert.

"A lot of it comes down to warning users", McDonnell said. "I was quickly able to get a sample of the malware with the help of Kafeine, a good friend and fellow researcher".

Make sure automatic updates are enabled, and downloaded regularly. "If they don't have an automatic update mechanism and they don't apply patches manually, they're going to be at risk - it's as simple as that".

The editorial comes as Beijing prepares to enforce a cybersecurity law which USA business groups say will threaten the operations of foreign firms in China, implementing strict local data storage laws and surveillance requirements.

"If there is a silver lining to it, you're not out a million dollars", he said.

Other experts also blamed the government.

Fedex said Friday it was "experiencing interference with some of our windows-based systems caused by malware". "We need the tech sector, customers and governments to work together to protect against cybersecurity attacks".

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