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

Why India is at greater risk from WannaCry

Why India is at greater risk from WannaCry

(P. Goezelt/dpa via AP).

In this May 12, 2017 photo, a display panel with an error can be seen at the main railway station in Chemnitz, Germany.

So far the malware has hit about 150 countries, and warnings have been issued by several governments to ring-fence information stored on motherboards. The number is considerably higher than the 200,000 machines affected by WannaCry, so there is potential for more attacks and victims.

"This "free-rider" problem - some manufacturers and users choosing to enjoy the benefits of the internet without taking the time and effort to maintain secure computing systems - is also unethical, and is a problem that will get much worse as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow", Wicker said.

Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organizations deemed not worth the price of upgrading or, in some cases, machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions that proved too hard to patch without possibly disrupting crucial operations, security experts said. Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion. In an interview on ABC's "This Week", Clapper said the worry was "this ransomware attack will be even larger" as people return to their desks after the weekend.

An unidentified young cybersecurity researcher claimed to help halt WannaCry's spread by activating a so-called "kill switch".

The 22-year-old British cyber researcher who found the kill switch said he was now looking into a possible second wave of attacks.

"There are certain organizations or sectors - e.g. medical - where patching is not a simple matter", Carsten Eiram, chief research officer at vulnerability intelligence firm Risk Based Security, said via email.

"I still expect another to pop up and be fully operational", Kalember said.

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The ransomware locks up the computer with the group which carried out the attack asking for $300 payment in bitcoins to send an unlock key.

Wainwright said Europol did not know the motive. It also hit a "limited number" of USA companies over the weekend, a senior DHS official confirmed to Fox News. On top of that, copycat versions of the malicious software have already started to spread.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday night ordered his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, to convene an "emergency meeting" to assess the threat posed by the global attack, a senior administration official told Reuters.

"It's quite an easy change to make, to bypass the way we stopped it", MalwareTech, who uses an alias, told the Associated Press.

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

While Microsoft broadened access to a security patch on Saturday to thousands of users whose old Windows support agreements have expired, law enforcement and intelligence authorities around the world, led by Britain's new cybersecurity agency, are working to track down whoever was responsible - with Russian organized crime considered a leading suspect, some experts said.

The ransomware exploited a vulnerability that has been patched in updates of recent versions of Windows since March. Enterprises need to test patches before installing them to ensure that they don't have compatibility issues with existing applications and break existing workflows. The other is to disable a type of software that connects computers to printers and faxes, which the virus exploits, O'Leary added. People who don't install security updates and patches are most vulnerable to the attack.

"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 all NHS trusts were hit, leading to criticism of the United Kingdom governemnt for failing to patch outdated software, making the health service more vulnerable to these kind of attacks.

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