Cyber attack could spark lawsuits but not against Microsoft

The exploitation of EternalBlue, suspected to have been developed using a hacking method leaked from US National Security Agency, allows the malware to spread through file-sharing protocols set up across the internal networks of organisations, many of which criss-cross the globe, according to Financial Times.

This cyber-attack is going to be a sensitive issue for the U.S. The hacker group called Shadow Brokers published the malware's vulnerability where it was based.

Here are four facts people should know about this cyberattack, which has been behind 36,000 attacks across Asia and Europe, said Channel News Asia.

It's always been said it's generally safer to use a Mac, simply by the virtue of there being fewer in the world meaning hackers can't be bothered to make viruses targeting them.

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.

According to Microsoft itself, numerous companies that were infected with WannaCry were either using outdated Windows OS versions or were sticking with Windows XP, which is practically considered a fossil at this point.

Most automated teller machines (ATMs) were running fine, there could be some which may not have updated Microsoft's Windows operating system, sources said.

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In order to prevent infection, users and organizations are advised to apply patches to Windows systems as mentioned in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010. Despite the attack being widespread, it's estimated that only about $32,000 were raised by the hackers.

WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor ransomware seems to have used a vulnerability in Microsoft's software. Courts have consistently upheld those agreements, he said. "It is very hard to hold software manufacturers accountable for flaws in their products".

ALSO READ: Ransomeware attack: Why do WannaCry hackers demand bitcoin?

A Microsoft spokesman reached Sunday said the company had no comment.

Jonathan Zittrain, a professor specializing in internet law at Harvard Law School, said courts have frequently dismissed lawsuits against the agency on the grounds they might result in the disclosure of top secret information.

Those tools were part of a large cache of older NSA data that was stolen sometime over the past few years.

"I doubt there can be any liability that stems back to the NSA", Dore said.


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