Hackers use tools stolen from NSA in worldwide cyber attack
Hackers used cyberweapons stolen from the US National Security Agency to strike organisations across the globe on Friday, from the UK’s National Health Service to European telecoms company Telefónica and FedEx of the US. A tool known as Eternal Blue developed by US spies was used by the hackers to supercharge an existing form of criminal malware, three senior cyber security analysts said, leading to one of the fastest-spreading and potentially damaging cyber attacks seen to date.
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The attack is a modified version of a virus known as WannaCry, a piece of ransomware first used by criminal networks online earlier this year. Ransomware encrypts data on computers and demands a fee typically payable in untraceable digital currency to unlock them. Infection is almost always made by email but the latest version of WannaCry spread laterally through the computer networks of infected organisations.
The affected computers were all running a windows operating system and specifically running a software called “Server Message Block (SMB)”. Experts entourages users to disable it (see here how to) on windows system or to installs a patch released by Microsoft.