Global ransomware attack used info stolen from NSA, says Microsoft

According to the Financial Times report, Microsoft was charging some consumers almost $1000 a year in order to get protection against threats like WannaCry ransomware attack.

"The high price highlights the quandary the world's biggest software company faces as it tries to force customers to move to newer and more secure software", it said.

In West Bengal's West Midnapore district, at least eight computers of the state-run electricity distributor were affected.

Experts are suspecting that the next wave of attacks will be subjected to the banking sector.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in a statement said it has activated a "preparedness and response mechanism" by instructing CERT-In to gather information on this attack.

According to The New York Times, users of Macs or other non-Windows computers were not affected with this.

Above-mentioned units are asked to closely watch out and prevent WannaCry from connecting to the servers as well as update the protection systems such as IDS/IPS, Firewall.

This year in January another ransomware by the name of Lazarus had attacked Indian companies.

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Reports suggest that over two lakh systems globally could have been infected by the malicious software. If you do not have patch management solutions or other vehicles to deploy the patch, I would resort to manually installing the patch on critical systems first and then progress throughout the environment.

Microsoft eventually issued a free security patch for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 8 users (these systems are no longer officially supported by the company, but in many parts of the world consumers and even businesses continue to remain on these).

The computer malware has spread across 150 countries and takes over users' files with a demand of $300 to restore them.

Europol has been analysing the virus and was yet to identify the hacking group behind the massive attacks.

Over the last few days, the global ransomware attack WannaCry infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files.

"The WannaCry ransomware attack is the largest we've ever seen", said Mike Fey, president and chief operating officer at Symantec.

The hackers use tools stolen from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and released on the internet. "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen". Computers in 18 police units in Chittoor, Krishna, Guntur, Visakhatpatnam and Srikakulam districts were affected.

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