Health Care

'WannaCry': Researcher finds 'kill switch' for cyberattack ransomware

'WannaCry': Researcher finds 'kill switch' for cyberattack ransomware

The malware, dubbed "WannaCry", hits systems running Microsoft Windows on which a patch released on March 14, 2017 has not been applied.

Affected by the onslaught were computer networks at hospitals in Britain, Russia's interior ministry, the Spanish telecom giant Telefonica and the United States delivery firm FedEx and many other organizations. The security block for this ransomware was pushed out by Microsoft back in March, but won't have reached OSes that are no longer supported - like Windows XP.

It then drops ransom notes to a user in a text file, demanding $300 worth of bitcoins to be paid to unlock the infected files within a certain period of time.

Attacks then began being reported across many other countries, including Turkey, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, the U.S., China, Spain, Italy and Taiwan with the majority of affected computers in Russian Federation.

"The spread is enormous", Adam Kujawa, the director of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes, which discovered the original version of WannaCry, told Wired.

Unfortunately, however, computers already affected will not be helped by the solution. The U.K.'s National Health Service was one of the biggest organizations hit by the ransomware.

Britain's NHS said that 45 of its hospitals, doctors' offices and ambulance companies had been crippled - making it arguably one of the largest institutions affected worldwide. Czech Republic-based cybersecurity firm Avast has so far recorded over 50,000 attacks globally since Friday afternoon.

Microsoft has made the decision, which they say is unusual, but is regularly seen during these high profile attacks, to provide a security update which includes Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003.

Spain's Telefonica was among the companies hit.

Mnuchin: US partners more comfortable with Trump on trade
According to French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, all the other rich countries unanimously called on USA to respect global trade. The G7 countries are Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United States and the United Kingdom.

On Saturday, a report from Reuters indicated that the impact of the ransomware has been greatly reduced in recent hours due to the work of an unnamed UK-based researcher who worked to limit its spread. In many cases, the senior official said, the attacks have been successful because they are against pirated or unauthorized copies of Microsoft Windows, which can not be easily patched to fix the vulnerability.

The ransomware may be using an exploit developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and revealed publicly in a WikiLeaks data dump last month.

NEW YORK - Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion attack Friday that locked up computers and held users' files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies.

Cyber security experts rushed to restore systems on Saturday after an unprecedented global wave of cyberattacks that struck targets ranging from Russia's banks to British hospitals and a French carmaker's factories.

Security experts have detected tens of thousands of attacks, apparently spreading over LANs and the internet like a computer worm.

"Because WannaCrypt used a single hardcoded domain, my registration of it caused all infections globally to believe they were inside a sandbox. thus we initially unintentionally prevented the spread", the researcher said, humbly and anonymously, in his blog post.

According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, a malware variant is widespread throughout the company's systems and the IT staff has urged employees to shut down their computers and network connections in order to limit the reach of the attack.

Deutsche Bahn says that departure and arrival display screens at its stations were hit Friday night by the attack.

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the broad scope of NSA surveillance in 2013, tweeted, "If @NSAGov had privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they *found* it, not when they lost it, this may not have happened".

  • Oil rebounds above $50 on latest United States  stockpile figures

    Oil rebounds above $50 on latest United States stockpile figures

    Oil was also buoyed by media reports on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would cut crude supplies to Asia. Consequently, we have raised our view to neutral from bearish and closed our short position.
    Guy Gets Rejected Badly On Houston Rockets Kiss Cam

    Guy Gets Rejected Badly On Houston Rockets Kiss Cam

    Mills, starting his second game in the series at point guard, finished with 14 points and nailed two 3-pointers. He scored just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting and committed six turnovers. "Everything falls on my shoulders".
    North Korea launches ballistic missile — South Korean military

    North Korea launches ballistic missile — South Korean military

    No sitting U.S. president has ever met with the leader of North Korea while in power, and the idea is extremely controversial. New President Moon Jae-in has appointed a successor but Lee will remain in office until parliament approves the nomination.
  • Conte: Chelsea title win feels like a "dream coming true"

    Question: What would double mean in your first season, like Ancelotti did? "Money is not important", Conte said Thursday. He started in Chelsea's EFL Cup exit and the first two rounds of the FA Cup. "Conte works with passion every day".

    Wizards F Oubre suspeneded for one game

    The best revenge Oubre and Washington could inflict on Olynyk would be sending he and his teammates packing after two rounds. Despite Oubre's absence in Game 4 Sunday, the Wizards evened the series with a 121-102 victory over Boston.

    Chelsea hopeful of sealing title at West Brom, feels Courtois

    Antonio Conte is hoping he will end tomorrow night being thrown in a bath by his Chelsea players after winning the title. Fabregas urged Chelsea to wrap up the Premier League title on Friday with a win over West Bromwich Albion.
  • Green vote helped NDP more than Liberals, says UBC prof

    Even after the final results are announced May 24, tight finishes could trigger judicial recounts. Our interactive results tracker above will update in real time as votes are counted.

    Trump suggests he might drop daily press briefings

    But once he emerged, Spicer refused to be interviewed on camera, telling reporters to turn off the lights, and answering many questions with, "I don't know".

    SKorea: Rival N.Korea launches ballistic missile

    South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that he would be open to visiting the rival North to resolve the ongoing conflicts. It's the latest in a series of tests by Pyongyang as it pursues a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the US mainland.
  • US Republican Senator Graham to examine Trump's business deals

    US Republican Senator Graham to examine Trump's business deals

    The president also said that the main story today was in regards to surveillance. "It's affecting our ability to govern". Representatives for Graham could not be immediately reached to confirm the report or give more details.
    Man City wins Women's FA Cup

    Man City wins Women's FA Cup

    Not that the one-sided nature of the final put a dampener on too numerous 35,000 fans who streamed into Wembley . Manchester City do have players who eat pressure for breakfast so you'd expect them to come out on top.
    Man captures 4.87m python in Florida

    Man captures 4.87m python in Florida

    Thousands upon thousands of pythons in the Everglades are wiping out wildlife - raccoons, rabbits, birds, even taking on gators. The SFWMD pays $8.10 (Ksh810) per hour of hunting. "Biggest snake I ever caught in my life right there", Crum said.