Global cyberattack: A super-simple explanation of what happened

Worldwide cyberattack Here's how to protect yourself

Worldwide cyberattack Here's how to protect yourself

In a rare step, Microsoft published a patch for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8 - all of them operating systems for which it no longer provides mainstream support.

But on Tuesday afternoon the trust confirmed the services would return to normal tomorrow morning.

An unprecedented global cyber attack that infected computers in at least 150 countries beginning on Friday has unleashed a new wave of criticism of the U.S. National Security Agency.The attack was made possible by a flaw in Microsoft's Windows software that the NSA used to build a hacking tool for its own use - only to have that tool and others end up in the hands of a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers, which then published them online.Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) President Brad Smith sharply criticized the U.S. government on Sunday for "stockpiling" software flaws that it often can not protect, citing recent leaks of both NSA and CIA hacking tools. He noticed a bug in the virus - one of the web domains used by the attackers hadn't been registered.

Who stopped the virus from spreading?

"Hopefully people are learning how important it is to apply these patches", said Darien Huss, a senior security research engineer for cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, who helped stem the reach of the weekend attack.

The report said that in China, more than 29,000 IPs were infected by the virus from Friday to Saturday, most of which were universities, hospitals, transport systems and companies. It's possible that researchers will develop a free solution that can remove the infection.

White House Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert declared that finding those responsible for cyberattacks is "something that sometimes eludes us".

Organizations and networks worldwide have since Friday been dealing with the fallout of massive ransomware attack that exploited a hole in PCs running Microsoft Windows that haven't been updated.

Lawrence Abrams, a New York-based blogger who runs BleepingComputer.com, says many organizations don't install security upgrades because they're anxious about triggering bugs, or they can't afford the downtime.

"The vulnerability was first found by the NSA", UK-based security researcher Graham Cluley noted in a blog post yesterday.

Cisco Systems rose 2.8 per cent, making it the leading gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was up more than 100 points in afternoon trading, as investors focused more on opportunities the attack presented rather than the risk it posed to corporations. "They're just a huge organisation which has had insufficient investment in computer security over the years".

"These callers pretend that they are able to prevent your computer from getting WannaCry ransomware", he said.

The ransomware that hit the NHS in England and Scotland, known as Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry, infected hundreds of thousands of machines.

Personally, I know many I.T. Security analysts.

One company, for example, places patch upon patch upon patch (more like bandaids), to temporarily fix the problem. The worst part about this company is that they deal with trusting customers and their credit. If you don't want to install the update for your PC, cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab has a step-by-step guide to secure computer. This results in outdated reports - that bypass the newer ones - resulting in a multitude of missed vulnerabilities.

As for Microsoft, some intelligence agency experts questioned its NSA criticism, saying it's unreasonable for the company to ask governments to stop using its products as a way to attack and monitor enemies.

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