India seeks to avoid ATM tears from WannaCry ransomware

Two months after Microsoft issued its security patch, thousands of computers remained vulnerable to the WannaCry attack. A researcher from Google posted on Twitter that an early version of WannaCrypt from February shared some of the same programming code as malicious software used by the Lazarus Group, the alleged North Korean government hackers behind the destructive attack on Sony Corporation in 2014 and the theft of $81 million from a Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Fed previous year.

Infosec pros should note that WannaCry is NOT being spread by phishing but by exploiting a hole in Windows the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) found but was leaked to the world. "Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past", Smith said. "That's what's new and different with this malware vs. other ransomware".

It also threatens to delete the files if payment is not made within seven days.

"How did the malware manage to spread if Microsoft had already shipped a Windows update that fixed the vulnerability WannaCrypt was exploiting?" wrote Forbes contributor Lee Mathews. We recommend users proactively update their operating systems, use caution when opening email attachments and enable LiveGrid on your ESET products.

"As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems". We have issued an alert on our Knowledge Base site providing step-by-step instructions for our customers to ensure they are protected. The incident was first reported on May 12 and within a few hours, the WannaCry Ransomware had locked 75,000 cyber attacks in 75 countries demanding a random of Dollars 300 to 600 from the users to give access to them.

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Experts say that this is just the beginning.

Wannacry came about because of a leak of NSA secrets, including a flaw in older Windows systems called Eternalblue. After failing to attract any bids, the group dumped more information, including IP addresses of systems targeted by the Equation.

Applying software patches is done by the vendors who supply the ATM. Companies should be patching this update and many others as quickly as possible, regardless of impact at this point. The ransomware impacted businesses both large and small, notably including sixteen of Great Britain's hospitals forcing them to turn patients away, FedEx, the Russian Interior Ministry and a large Spanish telecommunications company.

The other thing companies can do is warn users to be extra vigilant in watching for phishing emails that could introduce malware into their environments. "We have seen earlier that black hats would mainly attack and deface Indian websites but now the objective is mainly money", reported Business Insider.

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