The blame game, ransomware edition: Who's at fault?

WannaCry is far and away the most severe malware attack so far in 2017, and the spread of this troubling ransomware is far from over. This weekend's virus was particularly virulent because it could spread to all other computers on a network even if just one user clicked a bad link or attachment.

The State Bank of Vietnam on May 15 confirmed that no Vietnamese credit institutions were affected by the WannaCry ransomware. Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows system and spreads by exploiting vulnerabilities, it said. Those people "are at risk - they're probably not getting updates", he said.

"T$3 his attack demonstrates the degree to which cybersecurity has become a shared responsibility between tech companies and customers", Smith said in his blog post.

In addition to Microsoft's Security Bulletin MS17-010 that patched the vulnerability in March, the company also issued a separate patch on Friday for users of older and unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP.

The Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT), under the Ministry of Information and Communications, has issued warnings as well as offered protection measures to all users to guard against the ransomware and its variations, which target Microsoft Windows - an operating system that is widely used in Vietnam, especially the outdated Windows XP. So it makes sense to assign some responsibility to the NSA - the attackers didn't come up with this security hole on their own, after all. As the name suggests, the virus in effect holds the infected computer hostage and demands that the victim pay a ransom in order to regain access to the files on his or her computer. The criminals have so far netted a paltry $50,000 (roughly Rs. 32 lakhs) in ransom payments, based on payments into Bitcoin accounts associated with the malware. Ideally, this data should be kept on a separate device, and backups should be stored offline.

On Monday, the spread of the ransomware appeared to be slowing and, according to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, no major disruptions were being reported. Parts of the website may not work as expected without them.

More news: Majority Of Voters Believe Trump Is Abusing His Power As President

Under former President Barack Obama, the USA government created an inter-agency review, known as the Vulnerability Equities Process, to determine whether flaws should be shared or kept secret.

Some reports said Russian Federation had seen more infections than any other single country.

In India, the attack affected Andhra Pradesh Police, four manufacturing companies, two retailers, to banks, the operations of a multinational corporations and the Chennai automation facility.

It's called WannaCry, and it's brought computer systems from Russian Federation to China to the United Kingdom and the U.S. to their knees, locking people out of their data and demanding they pay a ransom or lose everything.

One reason many security researchers think eastern Europe and Asia may have been hit harder than other areas is because there's a higher incidence of the use of pirated (i.e. unofficial, non-registered) software in those regions. He added the current situation has to be a wake-up call for governments.

  • Desiree Holland