Running Windows? How to protect against the big ransomware attack

Even so, Apple getting on board is a huge win for Microsoft, both in convincing PC buyers that Windows 10 S can fulfil their needs and in convincing developers that they need to take the Windows Store seriously.

Lastly there are, of course, the attackers, who kidnapped precious data and demanded ransom be paid.

Earlier, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed there had not been a second wave of attacks on NHS trusts and said it was "encouraging" that the level of criminal activity was at "the lower end of the range" anticipated. "Microsoft can't be proud".

The ransomware exploits older versions of Microsoft's operating system software, such as Windows XP.

A divert remained in place for trauma, stroke and urgent heart attack treatment, where diagnostic services are required, at the Lister Hospital, part of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (Midlands & East).

"It's one of those things, in a flawless world, if people were up to date on the patches, this wouldn't be a problem", O'Leary said.

But he aimed his sharpest criticisms at the USA and other nations.

In a blog post, he said: "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".

Lieu, who noted on his Web site that he is "one of only four computer science majors serving in Congress", supports changing the vulnerabilities equities process (VEP) to ensure greater transparency in how the federal government notifies software companies about bugs it identifies.

Microsoft has introduced a security patch to tackle the situation.

Click "Repair All" to fix all issues. The other is to disable a type of software that connects computers to printers and faxes, which the virus exploits, O'Leary added.

The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center, a nonprofit group providing support in computer attacks, said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were reported affected.

Another feature expands the realm of the virtual clipboard, enabling a copy and paste function from Windows to other operating systems and back again.

But there will be other vulnerabilities to come, and not all of them will have fixes for older systems.

Security companies and law enforcement scour ransomware to find mistakes, which "allows them to crack the code", Woser said.

Security experts tempered the alarm bells by saying that widespread attacks are tough to pull off.

Don't grumble when your system administrator at work takes the network down periodically to update systems, which usually includes installing new and often critical software patches. Multiple backups also help. "If someone kidnaps your child, you may pay your ransom but there is no guarantee your child will return".

"It's not rocket science", Litan said.

Analysts had feared that the ransomware attack, which started spreading on Friday, could accelerate as workers returned to their desks after the weekend and turned on compromised machines. Asked what the company is doing to prevent such exploitations, he cited "basic IT security blocking and tackling".

Microsoft president Brad Smith used Friday's global ransomware attack as a chance to call once more for the nations of the world to create and adhere to a set of Geneva Convention-like rules in cyberspace.

The ransomware that has locked up hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries has been mainly spread by e-mail, hitting factories, hospitals, shops and schools worldwide, the Financial Times reported.

They exploited a ideal storm of factors - the Windows hole, the ability to get ransom paid in digital currency, poor security practices - but it's unclear if the payoff, at least so far, was worth the trouble.


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