BrandArena: Global Ransomware Cyber-attack is a Wake-up Call, Microsoft Warns

Monday 15 May 2017

Global Ransomware Cyber-attack is a Wake-up Call, Microsoft Warns

Computers in more than 150 countries have been hit by what tech experts referred to as an unprecedented mass cyber-attack using ransomware.

The cyber-attack around the globe began on Friday using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that was no longer given mainstream tech support by the firm.

Company across the world have since been reporting how much the cyberattack affected their businesses.

According to Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center, a non-profit providing support for computer attacks -- 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were reported affected so far.

Nissan Motor today confirm some units had been targeted, but there was no major impact on its business.

According to Microsoft, the cyberattack should be treated by governments around the world as a "wake-up call".

The tech giant blamed governments for storing data on software vulnerabilities which could then be accessed by hackers; clamining that the latest virus exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows identified by, and stolen from, US intelligence.

In a statement from Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer on Sunday the company "have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world," he wrote.

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen."

He said: "The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call."

Microsoft said failure of PC users to keep their systems up to date, allowing the virus to spread contributed to the cyberattack.

He added that "as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems."

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