May 16, 2017

Less than $70,000 paid in 'ransomware' cyberattack: White House

BYPankaj Mishra

Less than $70,000 has been paid in a “ransomware” cyberattack that has affected about 150 countries worldwide, the White House said on Monday.
“We are not aware of payments that have led to any data recovery,” White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said at a daily briefing.
Bossert said the ransomware attack, known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt, has infected more than 300,000 machines in about 150 countries but the good news is “the infection rates have slowed over the weekend.”
No US federal systems are affected, he said.
Bossert said the ransomware has three variants but patching systems can help protest against all these variants.
On Sunday, Microsoft slammed the US National Security Agency (NSA) because vulnerabilities used for the attack was first discovered by the spy agency, but it chose to keep them secret until they were stolen and leaked.
“This was a vulnerability exploit as one part of a much larger tool that was put together by the culpable parties and not by the US government,” Bossert argued. “This was not a tool developed by the NSA to hold ransom data.”

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.