Computer security experts are expecting the second wave of ‘most powerful ransomware attack ever’
Security analysts believe that the malicious ransomware attacks on Friday, which compromised the computers worldwide are expected to intensify during current week, as millions of people who return to work will discover the state of their computers.
While most of the global community is still feeling the aftereffects from the cyber-attack. Which barred people from receiving hospital care, it is believed that a second wave of any such ransomware attack would lead to disastrous consequences.
Initially Britain’s National Health Services is affected by Ransomware
The ransomware initially affected Britain’s National Health Service before spreading to 150 countries. Barred the victims from accessing their computers. And threatened that unless the victims paid $300 in bitcoins, their files will be deleted. The fact remains that the primary target of this attack was Windows XP operating system, for which Microsoft ended its support in 2014.
Ransomware “Kill Switch” is Identified by 22 year old Security Researcher
Major portion of the probable destruction from Friday’s attack was swiftly limited by a 22-year-old security researcher. Who goes by @MalwareTechBlog on Twitter. The researcher discovered that, the anonymous attackers had included a “kill Switch” in their software, which allowed him to stop the attack.
According to Peter Warren Singer, a technologist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation, “If you looked at what the biggest trends all the security companies were highlighting at the beginning of the year, ransomware was in all of their lists,”.
He also stated that all such interventions, like that of an independent researcher @MalwareTechBlog shows the importance of ethical hacking practices. He emphasized the need for investing time and efforts in security research. And ensuring better mechanisms of information exchange
Analysts believe that government officials might also be susceptible to the security attack. Which they will be discovering on Monday when the businesses start to open. An Obama administration official, R. David Edelman, stated that a few of the federal government agencies were proactive in dishing out the older versions of Windows XP. However, he stated that this largely based upon the available resources and differed from one to another federal agency.
Navy made an agreement in 2015. According to which they paid a heavy amount of $9 million to Microsoft per annum for continued support of Windows XP. Considering this to be a security hazard, a Microsoft Eradication team has been established which is helping in a swift move toward Windows 10. It has been noted that the main obstacle in moving to an operating system that provides improved security, still remains to be lack of resources.
Microsoft chief legal officer, Brad Smith said that this incident shows the importance of the threats that are brought about as a result of amassing digital weapons. In a blog post on Sunday, he called of digital convention on the principles of Geneva Convention to govern the use of digital weapons. He said that governments all over the world should consider the recent events to be a wake up call. Reminding us all to rectify our approach in cyber space so that the rules of physical weapons are applied here as well.