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Global Ransomware Cyber-attack, A Wake-up Call For Govts, Businesses – Microsoft

Computers in more than 150 countries have been hit by what tech experts referred to as an unprecedented mass cyber-attack using ransomware.

The cyber-attack around the globe began on Friday using a security flaw in Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, an older version that was no longer given mainstream tech support by the firm.
Europol chief Rob Wainwright said more than 200,000 victims had been hit in more than 150 countries.
Xinhua News Agency reports that by Sunday evening, 29,372 firms had been infected along with hundreds of thousands of devices. It cited the Threat Intelligence Center of Qihoo 360, a Chinese internet security services company.
It is the largest ransomware attack observed in history.
Microsoft said the cyberattack should be treated by governments around the world as a “wake-up call”.
The tech giant blamed governments for storing data on software vulnerabilities which could then be accessed by hackers.
In a statement from Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer on Sunday the company “have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world,” he wrote.
“An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.”
He said: “The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call.”
Microsoft said failure of PC users to keep their systems up to date, allowing the virus to spread contributed to the cyberattack.
He added that “as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems.”

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