China's banking regulator to step up protection after cyber attack

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The cyber ransomware attack infected at least two lakh computers in various countries according to European Union's law enforcement agency, Europol.

The countries most affected seem to be Russia, Ukraine, India, China, Italy and Egypt, with Russia having over 1,000 computers affected by the ransomware.

But after the highly public spread of WannaCry, companies around the globe no longer have an excuse to forgo system updates, said one former Obama administration official.

While there have been no reports of agriculture companies being affected by WannaCry that's not to say the industry is not at risk. "There are third-party providers out there that will offer off-site storage - specifically, for situations like this when you have a ransomware attack". The U.S. government still uses tech five decades old; it spends more than $60 billion on legacy technology, and just $20 billion on modernization efforts. But the next best thing you can do is help reduce the odds of being hit next time. "You can't say I'll do it tomorrow, because what we're seeing right now is what happens when you put it off until tomorrow".

This presents a window of opportunity for the IT/system administrators to mitigate, if not prevent a WannaCry infection by immediately patching the vulnerability that the ransomware leverages to infect systems.

But the software giant only sent the free security update - or patch - to users of the most recent version of the Windows 10 operating system, the report said.

What about Apple and Android devices?

Cybersecurity experts have nevertheless warned that an enhanced version of WannaCry could stage a comeback anytime to ravage more extensive havoc, ringing once again the alarm bell globally.

140923-N-MB306-007 PACIFIC OCEAN A Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile is launched from the littoral combat ship USS Coronado during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California. The missile scored a direct hit
China's banking regulator to step up protection after cyber attack

Security will be more important as cyber becomes ever more entwined in individuals' daily lives.

More recently, researchers believe that Lazarus compromised the SWIFT banking system and netted tens of millions of dollars from Vietnamese and Bangladeshi banks. Once you pay by sending the money to an anonymous recipient hiding in the "Darknet", you get the key to use unlock your files in an hour or so.

Who's behind the WannaCry attack?

"We do not know what is going to come next and whether this is the end of this particular (attack) or if there will be a variant of it coming". This is a window of opportunity IT/system administrators and information security (InfoSec) professionals can take advantage of to patch or update vulnerable systems, preventing threats like WannaCry from affecting them in the future. For example, the Windows update needed to protect against the WannaCry attack requires the computer to restart.

The Shadow Brokers allegedly hacked the NSA's Equation Group to steal EternalBlue, along with other tools, and tried to auction it. If, for example, it was clear that skipping a particular update would leave users vulnerable to a risky ransomware attack, people might agree to interrupt their work to protect themselves. But you can also set your devices to install those updates automatically so you don't even have to think about it. Hackers prey on complacency.

Of course, with anti-virus software, the same principle applies: Make sure to keep the anti-virus app up-to-date, too, so it blocks the latest emerging malware.

The ransomware was able to spread because of computers that were running out-of-date or unsupported software that hadn't been updated with the latest security patches.

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