Ransomware WannaCry, which is causing several problems in services around the globe on Friday, deactivated servers from Telefonica Spain, UK hospitals and also led to the dismissal of the servers of Russia, Ukraine, and India.
The virus exploits a breach known in the Microsoft system that is present in all versions of Windows, since computers running XP, which has no longer official support, have also been affected. This is the case with the UK public health system, for example.
The point is that this vulnerability was fixed in a March security patch. That is, the problem is in outdated computers. But since there are many systems that still run on older, unsupported versions, there was not much to do to avoid this problem.
The malicious software hijacks the data from the PC, encrypting it and only releasing it after paying a ransom.
Microsoft issued an official statement on the matter. Basically, the company says it has taken new precautions against ransomware WannaCry, also known as wcry or Wanna Decryptor, which according to international press reports, would have been developed by the NSA.
“Today our engineers added detection and protection against new malicious software known as Ransom: Win32.WannaCrypt. In March, we have provided a security update that provides additional protections against this potential attack. Those who are running our free antivirus and are running Windows Update are protected. We are working with consumers to provide additional assistance.”
That is, who has updated Windows, needs not to worry. The problem is that ransomware is apparently doing damage to outdated systems that are not within Microsoft’s reach.
This discrepancy in the version of the system used may in some cases be motivated by bureaucratic questions – possibly the case of the English public hospital system.
In fact, the ideal is to always keep the PC up to date. But here’s a case to remind us that this is not such a simple matter.