WannaCry Ransomware: Apple Users Too Vulnerable To Such Attacks

Telecommunications company Telefonica TEF.MC was among many targets in Spain, though it said the attack was limited to some computers on an internal network and had not affected clients or services. People don't always install updates and patches on their computers and so this means vulnerabilities can remain open a lot longer and make things easier for hackers to get in.

Last week, Russia's Interior Ministry confirmed attacks on about 1,000 computers using Windows OS.

The malware, known as "WannaCry", locks access to user files and in an on-screen message demands payment of $300 in the virtual currency Bitcoin in order to decrypt the files.

Microsoft Windows users, brace yourselves.

How many countries were affected? Records such as cancer diagnosis or blood test results were inaccessible, and patients were forced to delay potentially life-saving surgeries and treatments.

There are apprehensions that a second wave of the attack may arrive Monday as employees return and switch on affected computers.

The WannaCry malware exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that was reportedly developed and used by the U.S. National Security Agency.

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Organizations are scrambling to apply the latest security patch to their computers to prevent the spread of the attack.

According to the Hindustan Times, experts said India is vulnerable as a large number of computers in the country run the Microsoft's older operating systems like XP, and have not been updated yet. But there are obviously many, many computers out there and some people still, I feel, will not think that they need to patch their computer.

"As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems", BBC quoted Smith as saying. Clearly, their lack of responsibility caused their patients to suffer, and unfairly so.

Turning to the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by state actors, Smith noted that "repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage, " leading to the freaky situation of government actions repeatedly leading to criminal attacks. Moreover, protective measures were not adequately taken by the NSA to protect their own software, because if they were, hackers responsible for the attack would not have been able to steal it.

The Microsoft President also added: "The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call".

While earlier this week the company's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith had reportedly confirmed that the attack had used elements stolen from the NSA, the United States government has not given any direct comments in the matter till date.

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