U.S. should not stockpile cyber weapons, Microsoft says


Egypt convened its High Council for Cyber Security to review the situation there, and Israeli authorities also reported minimal damage to their systems.

"We believe the criminals behind WannaCry didn't intend such a widespread attack, nor did they possess the expertise to properly enable or protect the malware from reverse engineering", according to threat intelligence firm Recorded Future.

The reason that so many computers were vulnerable is that fact that many computer systems overseas did not or could not install the latest security patch from Microsoft.

"The WannaCrypt exploits used in the attack were drawn from the exploits stolen from the National Security Agency", Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith says.

Businesses and networks across Asia are coping with the first wave of WannaCry during their workweek.

All it takes is one person in a network to open an email attachment with ransomware to put everyone at risk. The virus took control of users' files and demanded $300 payments via Bitcoin to restore access. Failure to pay would leave the data scrambled and likely beyond fix unless users had unaffected backup copies.

"Thankfully some researchers are already registering the new domains as they identify them", AlienVault researcher Chris Doman says.

So far, there have been no withdrawals from those accounts. Symantec found 64% of Americans are willing to pay a ransom, compared to 34% globally. For many victims, finding and paying in Bitcoin is a task that is beyond them. But they could all be drawing conclusions from a very small set of clues.

Security blog MalwareTech has a map that records the spread of the ransomware.

But Scott Vernick, a data security lawyer at Fox Rothschild that represents companies, said he was sceptical that WannaCry would produce a flood of consumer lawsuits.

"This area of law has been stunted in its growth", he said.

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But WannaCry remains a puzzle, in part because some of its elements seemed amateurish.

The agency and its partners in the global security community are now in a "sort of cat-and-mouse" competition with hackers, as variants of the software that foil previous solutions emerge, the official says.

It also threatens to delete the files if payment is not made within seven days. That wasn't done here.

However, this round appears to have been drawn to a near halt by one security researcher.

The incident has not affected electricity supply because the infected computers were used mainly for administrative work, Taipower spokesman Lin Te-fu (林德福) said.

NHS Digital, the body that oversees cybersecurity in Britain's health system, said that as of now, it has "no evidence that patient data has been compromised".

United Kingdom hospitals are supposed to back up data frequently and at multiple locations.

WannaCry is also a type of virus classified as a worm.

Neino of Kryptos Logic, for instance, said the leak of the NSA hacking tools have significantly narrowed the gap between nations and individuals or cyber gangs.

Carmaker Renault said one of its French plants, which employs 3,500 people, wasn't reopening Monday as a "preventative step" while technicians deal with the aftermath of the attack. "It feels really amateur hour to me", said Huss.