USA cyber czar says 'no federal systems' hit by ransomware
- Author: Regina Walsh May 16, 2017,
May 16, 2017, 9:32
Tom Bossert, US president Donald Trump's homeland security adviser, said people "should be thinking about this as an attack that for right now we have under control, but as an attack that represents an extremely serious threat", speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America" show.
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Local media reported Monday that patients arriving at Dharmais Cancer Hospital on the weekend were unable to get queue numbers and had to wait several hours while staff worked with paper records.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee is monitoring the attack and expects to receive a briefing in the coming days from the Trump administration, a panel aide said.
Kaspersky Lab reported the attack was carried out with the use of ransomware dubbed WannaCry, which infected computers in an effort by cyber attackers to extort money. Programs were being installed to fix the problem. It's also important to know that pirated, stolen or otherwise unlicensed versions of affected software often will not receive patches. "Collective action aboard and with the United States to address this type of attack".
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"Overall, the USA infection rate has been lower than many parts of the world, but we may still see a significant impact on additional networks as these malware attacks morph and change", Bossert warned. But Microsoft's security patch released in March should protect USA networks for those who install it. It has disrupted telecommunications, hospitals, and thirty-eight of the U.K.'s national healthcare service, according to the official, resulting in inaccessible computers and telephone service. Those seven centers include places like the DHS's cyber threat info-sharing hub, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, or NCCIC, as well as similar cyber-focused units within the Pentagon, U.S. Cyber Command and various intelligence community agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NSA.
The cyberattack that emerged Friday has paralyzed computers running factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems around the world.
Interior ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said "someone who doesn't do their homework trying to make others responsible for not pointing out this homework needs to be done seems to me to mix up cause and effect". However, officials and security firms said the spread was starting to slow.
If your computer has been affected by the attack, the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency says "do not pay!" as there is no guarantee that systems will be restored.
Microsoft distributed a patch two months ago that could have forestalled much of the attack, but in many organizations it was likely lost among the blizzard of updates and patches that large corporations and governments strain to manage.