USA should not stockpile cyber weapons, Microsoft says

The WannaCry Ransomware virus is believed to have hit 200,000 victims in 150 countries, including United Kingdom hospitals, utilities in Spain, and Russia's interior ministry. "We expect this is a small operation that is undertaking this".

"Right now, just about every IT department has been working all weekend rolling this out", said Dan Wire, spokesman at Fireeye Security.

Microsoft added that it had released a security update in March that could fight the ransomware, and that the affected computers had not been updated. Once the ransomware gets into a network, it spreads quickly onto any unpatched Windows computers. Do not enable macros, cybersecurity company Symantec says.

State media said 29,372 institutions in China had been infected, along with hundreds of thousands of devices. The first WannaCry attack was reported at 4:07pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on Friday, May 12. Some of these computers were used by Iranian hospitals. "WannaCry has the ability to spread itself within corporate networks, without user interaction, by exploiting a known vulnerability in Microsoft Windows". Some of the victims have reportedly regained access to their files after paying, although security experts advise against complying with ransom demands.

"The 5,500-strong Renault factory in Douai, northern France, one of the most important auto plants in the country, will not open on Monday due to the attack, sources told AFP".

Champions League qualification scenarios - how would a play-off work?
As it stands, just three points separate third and fifth in the table with Manchester City on 75 points and Arsenal on 72. Arsenal have won 8 of their last 10 encounters with Sunderland , but an unlikely loss will end their top four hopes.

As MalwareTech noted in a blog post afterward, the ransomware was written to connect to an unregistered domain and "if the connection is not successful it ransoms the system, if it is successful the malware exits".

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits", Europol's European Cybercrime Center says.

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith answers questions at a shareholders meeting in 2014. Whilst accepting Microsoft's share of the blame, Smith suggested that the bulk of the responsibility for the massive cyberhack lies at the feet of government agencies. He says that when the NSA lost control of the software behind the cyberattack, it was like "the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen". One month earlier, Microsoft had released a patch targeting the vulnerability. But we note that it's no accident that the expert, who prefers to remain anonymous and uses the name Malware Tech, registered a domain name that was called out in the code and used it to stop the worm from spreading. Egypt convened its High Council for Cyber Security to review the situation there, and Israeli authorities also reported minimal damage to their systems.

According to Microsoft (MSFT.O), computers affected by the so-called "ransomware" did not have security patches for various Windows versions installed or were running Windows XP, which the company no longer supports. External hard drives and USB flash drives plugged in an infected computer can become encrypted as well.

The reasons why the malware queries that URL are fairly technical, but as it turned out, he was easily able to make it work as a kill switch.

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