Global ransomware attack appears to slow in US


The appeal for calm was undermined Monday when it emerged that nearly 30,000 organizations in China have been hit by the pernicious malware.

President Donald Trump's homeland security advisor Tom Bossert said the global ransomware attack WannaCry - which has has hit more than 200,000 organizations including hospitals and government agencies in 150 countries- is "under control" in the United States. According to Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, Europe's policing agency: "The numbers are still going up".

The attacks exploited a flaw in Windows.

It wasn't all good news however. Chinese media reported that more than 29,000 institutions in the country were infected by the attack, while the Japanese media has claimed that more than 600 companies were hit. "We have been in touch with Microsoft and others...even they have not got any reports", Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) director general Sanjay Bahl told PTI.

You must install a fix released by Microsoft to prevent further infections and propagation. While Microsoft had previously released patches for the NSA exploits that WanaCrypt targets, it's taken the rare step of releasing patches for operating systems not now in mainstream or extended support. You can download the updates here.

In what one of the most significant cyberattacks ever recorded, computer systems from the Russia, Brazil and the US were hit beginning Friday by malicious software that exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

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Meanwhile, virus creators and copycats are already working on variants of the malware, hoping to re-start its spread. However, a second wave of the attack that many feared would be carried out with mutated versions of the malware did not happen. "The question is how widespread it will be".

A massive cyberattack known as WannaCry wreaked havoc all over the world this past weekend, and although this particular ransomware is already dying out, new ones may be cropping up. WannaCry was especially successful because it was able to leverage the spy tools which the NSA developed to monitor the computers of suspected terrorists, an exploit which was leaked last month.

Security firm Digital Shadows said on Sunday that transactions totaling $32,000 had taken place through Bitcoin addresses used by the ransomware.

Despite the reach of the malware, experts say the hackers have only made around $51,000 as of Monday, the day that the ransom doubles (if the computer was infected on Friday).

The advice from security experts and the National Crime Agency (NCA) is do not pay the ransom.