As MalwareTech noted in a blog post afterward, the ransomware was written to connect to an unregistered domain and "if the connection is not successful it ransoms the system, if it is successful the malware exits". The hacking tool at work was originally developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, before it leaked online earlier this year. It said that the USA had "no credible evidence" to support a ban on Chinese tech companies in the US following the cyberattack.
"The WannaCry ransomware attack is the largest we've ever seen", said Mike Fey, president and chief operating officer at Symantec. EternalBlue uses a backdoor referred to as DoublePulsar and those who haven't installed Microsoft's patch from March may still be vulnerable to the ransomware attack.
In a statement, the Microsoft Security Response Center said, "We are taking the highly unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms that are in custom support only, including Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003". As previously mentioned, this attack is particularly risky because it's also a worm, which means that once it gets into a computer it starts connecting to other systems to spread as much as possible.
Some media reports claimed that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered some ATMs to remain shut as a preventive measure. It essentially relies on victims clicking on or downloading the attachment, which causes the program to run and infect your computer with ransomware. If these companies failed to update the security systems of their Microsoft Windows Operating Systems, they could face potential lawsuits, Business Insider reports. Multiple backups also help. The longer you wait, the more you have to pay.
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Mr. Wellsmore said Asia was likely spared the brunt of the attack because of the timing. Asked what the company is doing to prevent such exploitations, he cited "basic IT security blocking and tackling".
"They're going to turn on their computers in the morning and find out if they were protected or not" said James Barnett, a security expert at Venable. They allege that last week's WannaCry attack exploited a flaw that the USA government knew about and chose not to disclose, an identical situation to the Heartbleed virus that the National Security Administration knew about for around two years before researchers discovered it and announced it to the public.
They exploited a flawless storm of factors the Windows hole, the ability to get ransom paid in digital currency, poor security practices but it's unclear if the payoff, at least so far, was worth the trouble.