Do you own a laptop, computer and smartphones? Or love surfing the internet for pleasure and business? Here’s something you should know.
Whatever your purposes are, you’d be glad to learn that computer experts have confirmed there’s a massive ransomware currently prowling every country in the world right now to unleash damages previously unknown.
Agreed. There are many ways to keep your computers running in a perfect condition. But without the installation of a never-ending software upgrades, adding an extra CPU fan, and learning every new hack tricks from cyber-criminals, we are all vulnerable to malware attacks.
According to a latest report from Itscart, all Windows XP users (other versions not completely excluded) should buckle down for a second wave of malware onslaught.
The world is facing its ‘biggest ransomware attack ever.’
Microsoft ended its support for the Windows version in 2014 but computer owners around the globe have gambled with their safety on this ageing technology.
Last Friday’s massive attack around the continents confirmed Windows XP is facing serious security issues, and computer experts say the worst is yet to come. More breaches are within the week.
A large number of computers (running into millions) were held hostage through the weekend and these casualties will likely increase in number as the days pass bye, starting from last Monday when workers returned to their offices only to discover their privacy has been breached.
Most people were unable to receive hospital care in the United Kingdom due to the cyber-attack.
James Barnett, a retired Navy rear admiral and Chairman of Venable Communications Group, said in a quote from Itscart that “they (office workers) are going to turn on their computers in the morning and find out if they were protected or not.”
Barnett was declared a Top Lawyer in DC for Cybersecurity by Washingtonian Magazine for 2015. He also led the Homeland Security Bureau among other enviable positions in a career which spanned over 30 years, so his analysis can’t be taken forgranted.
Thanks to an inspiring effort from a 22-year-old lad who was identified as a security researcher, last Friday’s ransomware attack was cut down to its barest minimum.
The ‘savior’ goes by a Twitter username @MalwareTechBlog, and he wrote about how we can ‘accidentally stop a a global cyber war.’
Security analysts confirm that while the security drama lasted, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) was first hit. Then over a million attacks were recorded in as many as 150 countries.
The ransomware victims threatened to either pay a token $300 or have their important files deleted permanently from the operating system.
Interestingly, the ‘bad guys’ showed kindness by including a simple click through which an ‘obedient victim’ can stop the attack. This special service required all interested computer owners to pay only $10 dollars for a “kill switch” which comes a domain name to save affected computers.
The seeming triumph over this latest malware attack also known as WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor, is believed to be a warning.
Computer experts are speculating that these cyber criminals have just tested the waters for something bigger than we can ever know.
WannaCry is the most high-profile example of a type of attack that analysts have been predicting would surge in 2017 after a substantial uptick in such attacks last year.
Public and private companies have been on their toes since last year, expecting such malware attacks but never doing enough to totally avert the danger.
During the Obama administration, media reports confirmed that some US federal agencies discarded their Windows XPs although a total replacement of the machines was impossible due to its high costs.
R. David Edelman, who worked with the past administration and was responsible for advice of tech matters, said in a statement: “There are certainly still systems in the government that are running XP…some of them are almost certainly Internet-connected; some of them might be further back-end or otherwise not as vulnerable.”
Another tech guru who is also a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, Peter Warren, said: “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 continued: “If there is a lesson from that…it’ll be on enabling security research and information exchange.
“You want the curiosity of the good guys to be unleashed as much as possible.”
While the world awaits a detailed report on how many government officials were affected in this dreadful attack, the US Navy has since upgraded to an impenetrable security upgrade by developing “Microsoft Eradication Team,” Itscart confirmed.
US federal offices will be at an advantage by upgrading to Windows 10, a US official argued but highlighted that only those with the available resources who acted quickly, will have their risks reduced.
The ‘biggest ransomware ever’ is an opener to government offices, including individuals and private companies.
Cyber-war is no joke, Microsoft warns of the imminent danger.
SCWSC advised computer users to do these as first measures once an attack is suspected:
- Unplug from network- pull out network cable to stop ransomware encrypting more files
- Disconnect from Wi-Fi network: Turn Wi-Fi Off
- Turn off machine as soon as possible
- Do not pay any money
- Contact your IT department or IT provider if relevant.