Seven hospitals affected by cyber attack still in need of support

Wana_Decrypt- screenshot

Security experts tempered the alarm bells by saying that widespread attacks are tough to pull off.

Senior U.S. security officials held another meeting in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency were working to help mitigate damage and identify the perpetrators of the massive cyber attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Researchers discovered at least two variants of the rapidly replicating worm Sunday and one did not include the so-called kill switch that allowed them to interrupt its spread Friday by diverting it to a dead end on the internet.

"I highly suspect that, with the amount of coverage that this incident is getting, there are probably already people that are working to incorporate the exploit that was used for spreading", he said.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said: "On Monday morning at the start of the new working week it's likely that successful attacks from Friday that haven't yet become apparent will become apparent".

A GLOBAL cyber attack that has struck computers across Europe and Asia is believed to have infected its first Australian business, the federal government says.

A large-scale global investigation has been launched as police attempt to identify the perpetrators of the attack.

The attack held hospitals and other entities hostage by freezing computers, encrypting their data and demanding money through online bitcoin payment - $300 at first, rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.

The attacks exploited the computers because they were running outdated versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system. Normally, such patches are reserved for organisations willing to pay for extended support.


Experts say this vulnerability has been understood among experts for months, yet too many organisations either failed to take it seriously or chose not to share what they'd found.

As part of the efforts to combat the attack, Microsoft, whose Windows software lies at the heart of the potential hacking vulnerability, released a software update available to those affected by the attack and others that could be potential targets.

Russian Railways: State media said a virus attacked the IT system of Russian Railways, but it did not affect operations due to a prompt response.

"And we've got to make sure at a departmental level, government level, departmental heads. that they're taking the necessary steps", he told Sky News. Fox 4 even received warnings like this.

National Health Service: At least sixteen NHS organizations have been hit, according to NHS Digital.

Europol said Monday that "very few" people have paid the ransom, and security company Bitdefender said the attack has raised just over $51,000. That low-priced move redirected the attacks to MalwareTech's server, which operates as a "sinkhole" to keep malware from escaping.

Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organizations deemed not worth the price of upgrading or, in some cases, machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions that proved too hard to patch without possibly disrupting crucial operations, security experts said. It appears to exploit a vulnerability in Windows that, according to the Toronto Star, "was supposedly identified by the U.S".

British cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley doesn't want to blame the NSA for the attack.

The identity of the hacker who perpetrated the wave of attacks remains unknown.

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