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Chinese state media says US should take some blame for cyber attack

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Hackers

Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyber extortion attack at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies.

Microsoft says government hoarding of hacking tools is partly to blame for the cyberattacks that crippled computer systems around the world on Friday.

In the event that a hacker successfully hijacks your computer, you could rescue yourself with a backup of your data stored somewhere, like on a physical hard drive.

By SYLVIA HUI, ALLEN G.

The U.S. National Security Agency alerted Microsoft of a critical vulnerability that was eventually used to carry out the massive WannaCry ransomware attack that hit more than 300,000 computers worldwide last week, the Washington Post reported.

As per the UP police directive, if it attacks your systems, your immediate efforts should be towards preventing further spread of the malware within your environment followed by hunting for any dominant infection and sanitising your network.

Vu Ngoc Son, deputy head of the anti-malware department of Bkav Corporation, the largest internet security firm in Vietnam, said that the WannaCry ransomware's behaviour is "not new", but he believes that the use of this ransomware will not really ease up as "it can directly earn large profits for hackers".

Experts described it as the world's "greatest cyber-attack".

The cyber attacks have slowed down, thanks to the "heroics" of Marcus Hutchins, a 22-year-old British security researcher.

The attack could cost the government and corporate organisations north of $4billion in bitcoin as there is still no certainty as to whether the attacks have been completely mitigated or a second wave might send some more shocks. Two big telecom companies, Telefónica of Spain and Megafon of Russian Federation, were also hit.

On Sunday, Chinese media reported that students at several universities were hit by the virus, which blocked access to their thesis papers and their dissertation presentations.

Nonetheless, the experts say such widespread attacks are tough to pull off.

An exploit was stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States of America two months ago, and soon after Microsoft patched all supported versions of Windows.

Today, novice hackers do not even need to know how to write encryption programs; they can deploy off-the-shelf ransomware to blackmail others.

"Two months prior to the May 12 attack, Microsoft received a tip regarding the server vulnerability".

WannaCry only attacks Windows thanks to a flaw in the Windows system that has been patched. Employees have been communicated to be aware of unsolicited emails and were asked to stay away from work at a few places where the security systems update was in progress.

He added that most of the exploits The Shadow Brokers May release are still patchable, though exploits to Android handsets might remain "devastating".

The researcher, identified online only as MalwareTech, explained that he spotted a hidden web address in the "WannaCry" code and made it official by registering its domain name.

Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at Gartner, agreed that the government is "is negligent not doing a better job protecting companies", but added that it's not like "you can stop the USA government from developing cybertools" that then work as intended.

The China Daily pointed to the USA ban on Chinese telecommunication provider Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, saying the curbs were hypocritical given the NSA leak.

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