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Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Technology | By Kate Woods

WannaCry Malware Cyber-Attack Continues


"We've seen even terror groups finance their organizations by using operations like cybercrime and ransomware", Ryan Kalember, a cybersecurity strategy expert at Proofpoint, said to CBS previous year.

"At the moment, we are in the face of an escalating threat".

At Germany's national Deutsche Bahn railroad, workers were labouring under "high pressure" Monday to fix remaining glitches with train stations' electronic departure boards, a spokesman said.

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.

Chinese authorities from traffic police to industry regulators said the spread of the WannaCry worm appeared less aggressive than initially feared.

Russian Central Bank: State media agency Tass reported the bank discovered malware bulk emails to banks but detected no compromise of resources.

The WannaCry worm locks users out of their computers and demands that victims pay hundreds of dollars to regain control of their information.

Security solutions providers have also accelerated efforts to develop tools to tide over the crisis.

Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith, in a blog post Sunday, said the attack is a "wake-up call" for governments in the USA and elsewhere to stop stockpiling tools to exploit digital vulnerabilities. The software attack has taken a toll on many people in the real world.

Microsoft's top lawyer is laying some of the blame at the feet of the USA government.

Avast, an global security-software firm that claims it has 400 million users worldwide, said the ransomware attacks rose rapidly Saturday to a peak of 57,000 detected intrusions.

With WanaCryptor and MS17-010 both "unleashed into the wild", F-Secure said the current problem seems to have combined and magnified the worst of the dangers those programs represent.

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An interior ministry spokeswoman said about 1,000 computers using Microsoft Windows were attacked but these had been isolated from networks.

The agency said Monday that "very few" people have paid the ransom.

Nissan: The carmaker said in a statement that "some Nissan entities were recently targeted" but "there has been no major impact on our business". "We understand the gravity of the situation as this infection has affected businesses, hospitals, and universities across the globe and poses a significant risk to consumer safety, privacy, and data security".

Wallace said the government used to contract for computer services across the entire NHS but that in 2007 that was stopped and left to the individual trusts. While some companies did not report damages to the government, South Korea was yet to see crippling damages, he said. "One of the country's largest oil companies, PetroChina, reported the attack had disrupted its electronic payment systems at its gas stations over the weekend".

"Malware that penetrates the perimeter and then spreads inside the network tends to be quite successful", said Johannes Ullrich, director of the Internet Storm Center at the SANS Institute.

The biggest trust, Barts NHS Trust is believed to be the hardest hit - reportedly having to redirect ambulances away from three of its A&E units and cancel non-urgent operations. The ransom demanded of each infected computer was a little more than $300 or so. Movie servers weren't affected and are running as normal, it said in a text message Monday. In Indonesia, the ransomware locked patient files on computers in two hospitals in the capital, Jakarta, causing delays.

"Ransomware is following the same trajectory as phishing", said Phillip Hallam-Baker, an expert at the digital security firm Comodo.

"These alerts included a patch to protect their systems".

A second variant of the domain also became apparent.

Besides, the Maharashtra Police department said it was partially hit by the ransomware.

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.

"Ransomware is traditionally their topic", he said. The initial attack had started after many offices had closed Friday.

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