Former GCHQ chief blames Microsoft for world's biggest ever cyber attack

Former GCHQ chief blames Microsoft for world's biggest ever cyber attack

Researchers have found out that WannaCry, a ransomware that wreaked havoc just recently, infected nearly only computers running Windows 7, at least judging from early figures. On the other hand, Windows XP systems that haven't been infected just yet must deploy Microsoft's patch that's available even for unsupported versions of Windows.

The ransomware is widely believed to be based on an alleged NSA hacking tool leaked by the group Shadow Brokers earlier this year.

Europol affirmed the solution developed by the team of security researchers.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) should shoulder some blame for the attack, which targets vulnerabilities in Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) systems and has infected some 30,000 Chinese organizations as of Saturday, the China Daily said.

While the security experts have struggled to find the so-called "patient zero" in the attack, they have been more successful in finding the cause of the attacks and the reason why it was so successful.

Roughly 98 percent of all computers that the ransomware hit were all running some version of Windows 7, with less than one in a thousand of targeted computers running Windows XP.

WannaCry exploits a Windows vulnerability codenamed EternalBlue, which has been patched by Microsoft in an update deployed on March 14.

Reuters also reports that half of all internet addresses corrupted globally by WannaCry are located in China and Russian Federation, with 30 and 20 percent respectively.

For anyone with a machine compromised by WannaCry, Guinet stresses that users should not reboot their machine. The attacks have been widespread, affecting hospital services, banks, and telecommunications service providers in Europe, and beyond.

Only 309 transactions worth around $94,000 appear to have been paid into WannaCry blackmail accounts by Friday (1345 GMT), sevens days after the attack began.

(Hacker News) If your PC has been infected by WannaCry - the ransomware that wreaked havoc across the world last Friday - you might be lucky to get your locked files back without paying the ransom of $300 to the cyber criminals. The ransomware works by locking down computers and demanding money from their owners. However, not everyone has installed the patch yet, and those who have not are vulnerable to WannaCry.

"We haven't seen many organisations fall over and that's because they did some of the security basics", he said.