Pirated Windows is a risky bet, says security company

"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.

"We believe the recent ransomware attack could accelerate the Windows upgrade cycle for enterprises, which would drive further upside to Office 365 Commercial MAUs [monthly active users] beyond what is now factored into our estimates", he added.

The WannaCry ransomware has already infected hundreds of thousands of Windows computers across the world, and as the world is recovering from fiasco, security experts are also looking into what caused so many systems to be compromised so fast.

A spokesperson for police agency Europol said the situation in Europe seems stable.

The government is not legally bound to notify at-risk companies.

Ransomware is a type of wicked and malicious software that takes over the system of a computer.

The virus exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by USA intelligence.

WannaCry Ransomware: Microsoft Calls Out NSA For 'Stockpiling' Vulnerabilities
It takes just one click on an infected link or email attachment to have the virus spread to other computers within the network. European authorities have a warning for everyone hit by the worldwide cyberattack: Don't pay the ransom.

Kaspersky Labs's Global Research and Analysis team points out that WannaCry starts with a remote code execution in Microsoft Windows, taking advantage of a vulnerability dubbed "EternalBlue". The company mainly ended support for the aging operating system in 2014.

Also enjoying strong protection from liability over the cyber attack is the U.S. National Security Agency, whose stolen hacking tool is believed to be the basis for WannaCry.

Smith compared an equivalent scenario as the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen. And while Microsoft said it had already released a security update to patch the vulnerability a month earlier, it would appear that the NSA hadn't told the USA tech giant about the security risk until after it had been stolen.

In Japan over 2000 computers were affected as well as companies like Nissan Motor, Hitachi was impacted by the ransomware attack. "We are in the second wave", said Matthieu Suiche of Comae Technologies. The ease of stopping the attack suggests the hackers were new to this game.

"We don't expect this to be a sophisticated group", said Wellsmore. "Windows users and administrators should ensure that their systems are updated with the latest security patches to help prevent further infections and to slow the spread of the ransomware".

Moreover, with rampant piracy in the country, higher usage of unlicensed software could make the situation worse, they warned.

In previous year India has seen at least three sophisticated ransomware attacks on Indian companies and banks.


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