Microsoft says cyberattack should be wake up call for governments

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However, officials said that those who have yet to apply the updates are at risk and should "immediately deploy Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010". Businesses need to patch to be completely protected, but Hickey's solution works for organizations that might need more time to upgrade.

The worm encrypts data on an infected system, and then tells the user that their files have been locked and displays information on how much is to be paid and when - up to roughly $600 in bitcoin. A Windows vulnerability theft from the NSA last month has been directly tied to WannaCry.

Infection attempts from the WannaCry ransomware.

WannaCry is a ransomware virus that holds computers hostage until the user meets the demands. This exploit was leaked by a hacker group called the Shadow Brokers earlier this year but the vulnerability was patched by Microsoft as soon as it happened. 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.

Friday's ransomware attack appears to have spread mainly in Europe and Asia, with Russian Federation among those nations hardest hit, according to security researchers.

Here are the steps to prevent your computer from the attack, as reported by CNET.

"It's very important everyone understands that all they (the hackers) need to do is change some code and start again".

While WannaCry rampaged through more than 100 countries over the weekend, security researchers identified a "kill switch" within the ransomware that slowed the expansion. He added it was a helpful thing that the company had set up a patch capable of stopping the attack.

Experts said it appeared that the ransomware had made just over $32,000, although they expected that number to pop when people went back into the office Monday.

Once your system has ransomware, your choices are limited: pay or don't pay.

WannaCry uses EternalBlue, which takes advantage of a vulnerability in the SMB protocol, to worm its way through local networks and online.

Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the United Kingdom hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out.

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