Beware: Worldwide Ransomware Attack May Be Far from Over

A ransomware attack that began in Europe on Friday is lingering - and hitting new targets in Japan and China.

Users are confronted with a screen demanding a $300 payment to restore their files.

Unfortunately, the current state of cyber security at most enterprises is not uniformly mature to detect, prevent and respond to these threats in a timely manner. He added that the rate of infection has slowed over the weekend.

Using antivirus software will at least protect you from the most basic, well-known viruses by scanning your system against the known fingerprints of these pests. "Unfortunately, most people don't have them", Abrams says. "For information on how to mitigate this vulnerability, users and administrators are encouraged to review the US-CERT article on Microsoft SMBv1 Vulnerability and the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010".

"We suggest that victims not pay - for a couple of reasons".

"If customers have automatic updates enabled or have installed the update, they are protected". "Otherwise, they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past".

Businesses and networks across Asia are coping with the first wave of WannaCry during their workweek.

While Microsoft has patched up the vulnerabilities in newer versions of Windows, that left computers running older software still open to attack. Hackers are constantly looking for security gaps, and companies try to close those gaps as soon as they are discovered.

Carmaker Renault said its plant in the northern town of Douai would not reopen on Monday as it dealt with the cyber-attack.

One researcher has but the attackers created a new WannaCry version that uses a different domain for the kill switch.

Chinese media reported that more than 29,000 institutions in the country had been hit, with universities and other educational entities the hardest hit, along with railway services and retailers. "However, Hitachi and others have mostly only reported loss of email and other secondary functionalities".

State police: Police in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh said 25% of its systems were hit by the attack late Saturday.

The attack, known as "WannaCry" had a major impact across Asia as workers there returned to work on Monday, with Chinese state media saying nearly 30,000 institutions there had been infected.

Putin said Russian Federation was not behind the attack.

A spokesman for Spains Telefonica SA said the hack affected some employees at its headquarters, but the phone company is attacked frequently and the impact of Fridays incident wasnt major. He noted, however, the complexity that can be involved in patching a security hole.

The identity of whoever deployed the software remains unknown. If Microsoft turned a blind eye to the vulnerability inherent to older versions of Windows, the blame goes to them, and these users might leave the Windows ecosystem completely in favor of Linux, ChromeOS or MacOS which are not as vulnerable to WannaCry or its future iterations.

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", the company said Sunday.

Microsoft released a security update, MS17-010 on March 14, 2017. But the success of the attack shows that not enough people took advantage of the patch. But you can also set your devices to install those updates automatically so you don't even have to think about it. Hackers prey on complacency.

"I will confess that I was unaware registering the domain would stop the malware until after I registered it, so initially it was accidental", wrote the researcher, who uses the Twitter name @MalwareTechBlog. Activating the domain worked as a kill switch for the malware.

The organisation also said that many organisations had failed to keep their systems up to date, allowing the virus to spread.

There was some good news: having tipped their hand on Friday, and allowing hacking countermeasures to be implemented, about 97% of United Kingdom facilities and doctors disabled by the attack were back to normal operation, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Saturday after a government meeting. "But at the same time, I also know that if you're someone who's been affected and you've lost all your children's photographs or you've lost all your data or you lost your thesis, sometimes $300 is worth it, you know?" And remember that any account can be compromised.

If you find a problem, disconnect your machine immediately from the Internet or other network connections (such as home Wi-Fi). "Stay away from file extensions like ".exe", ".vbs" and ".scr".

Vanessa Coleman