Pirated, outdated operating systems contributes in global ransomware attack

Businesses hit by the recent cyber attack that failed to update Microsoft computer systems could be sued

The ransomware then locks up the files on the computer, keeping them encrypted and inaccessible until users pay the ransom to regain access. You should have these stored in more than one place. In a matter of minutes, your files are our of reach.

The WannaCry ransomware is nasty and once it gets hold of your files, there's no way to decrypt them - at least not for now.

It also expressed fear that figure of affected computers and countries is likely to grow with time especially "as people use their computers if their IT has not been updated and their security systems patched over the weekend".

Some victims were using computers that run on Windows XP, a 16-year-old operating system. Though Grobman agrees with his colleague at Microsoft: These last few days, battling the WannaCry attack, have been very long. According to various resources, the attack affected many National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England and Scotland, and up to 70,000 devices - including computers, MRI scanners, blood-storage refrigerators and theatre equipment - may have been affected. The ransomware is known to be using the age old technique of spamming and fishing to spread at such a fast pace.

As the global ransomware attack continues, the Uttar Pradesh police, on May 16, issued a set of measures asking organisations to comply with them in order to protect themselves from the ongoing cyber attack. The malware primarily targeted users of Windows XP, which was launched by Microsoft in 2001. How did it spread so fast?

Unlike many other malicious programmes, WannaCry has the ability to move around a network by itself. "The cyberattack can in many cases limit the amount of loss of life".

Once WannaCry has penetrated an organisation, it will hunt down vulnerable machines and infect them as well.

The attacks have now raised questions about the use of old software by organisations, and why United Kingdom health services were using old versions of Windows without support agreements.

Who is behind the attack? .

Sources said IT teams in many firms are working overtime to ensure such attacks do not harm their systems.

Europol said it does not know the motive behind it. So it makes sense to assign some responsibility to the NSA - the attackers didn't come up with this security hole on their own, after all.

Microsoft should be offering millions (or even billions) to the NSA for the work it may do to find these problems rather than abiding by its current policy of shifting the blame for its failures to others.

"We don't expect this to be a sophisticated group", said Wellsmore.

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