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China pays for Windows XP addiction as 'WannaCry' hits

17 May 2017
China pays for Windows XP addiction as 'WannaCry' hits

Computers booting up to start the workweek might continue the spread of "WannaCry", a ransomware attack where hackers lock down a computer and threaten to delete all its data unless a ransom is paid.

The attack spread to a large swath of different organizations around the world, including the French vehicle company Renault, the Russian cellphone operator MegaFon and USA -based FedEx.

NHS England said that, as of 3pm on Monday, two hospitals remained on divert following the attack, down from seven on Sunday.

A spokesman for Japanese conglomerate Hitachi said on Monday that the company's computer networks were "unstable", crippling its email systems.

The so-called WannaCry cyberattack has affected hundreds of thousands of computers by exploiting vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Windows XP software, creating havoc around the world.

The malware locked computers and blocked access to patient files in England's public hospitals.

The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center, a nonprofit providing support for computer attacks, said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were reported affected so far.

"NCSC and NCA are working with Europol and other worldwide partners to make sure we all collect the right evidence, which we need to do to make sure we have the right material to find out who has done this and we go after them". LinkedIn settled for $1.25 million in 2014.But Scott Vernick, a data security lawyer at Fox Rothschild that represents companies, said he was skeptical that WannaCry would produce a flood of consumer lawsuits. Because numerous computers impacted run older Windows systems like XP, Microsoft issued a rare patch for XP, which it had stopped updating more than three years ago. It not, you can go to the Microsoft website and find the proper patch to download.

It warned computer users to install and upgrade security software as a precaution.

In a world where technology is tied to nearly every aspect of life, the private sector is looking into new ways to protect far more than just your home computer.

Ryan Kalember, senior vice-president at Proofpoint Inc., which helped stop its spread, said the version without a kill switch could spread.

"I still expect another to pop up and be fully operational", Kalember said.

Telefónica, a Spain-based telecommunications company, was among the first major organizations to report being hit by the attack, and institutions in England's health care sector first reported problems by late morning on Friday, according to the FT.

Microsoft's president and top lawyer said Sunday that the ongoing cyberattacks, which experts are calling the largest in history, should be a "wake-up call" for governments - especially the U.S.

The malicious program "WannaCrypt", which demands a payment of Bitcoin to unlock an infected system, was part of a stockpile of exploits stolen from the National Security Agency earlier this year. But some experts have argued this attack could have been vastly mitigated if the NSA told Microsoft sooner.

"You are dealing with a criminal", he said. If you haven't changed your automatic update settings then you should be fine.