White House: Cyberattack has not affected US government

Alicia Guzman
May 16, 2017

On May 12, the Kaspersky Lab company registered about 45,000 ransomware attacks in 74 countries worldwide, with the largest number of targets located in Russian Federation.

"Overall, the USA infection rate has been lower than many parts of the world, but we may still see a significant impact on additional networks as these malware attacks morph and change", Bossert warned.

"While it would be satisfying to hold accountable those responsible for this hack - something that we are working on quite seriously - the worm is in the wild, so to speak at this point, and patching is the most important message as a result", he said.

Microsoft distributed a patch two months ago that could have forestalled much of the attack, but in many organizations it was likely lost among the blizzard of updates and patches that large corporations and governments strain to manage.

A DHS official told POLITICO late Friday that the malware had not yet infected US government agencies and critical infrastructure organizations, such as hospitals and power plants.

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Micrsoft's top lawyer has criticized US intelligence for "stockpiling" software code that can aid hackers. Christian Karam, a Singapore-based security researcher said, "Expect to hear a lot more about this tomorrow morning when users are back in their offices and might fall for phishing emails".

A Japanese non-profit says computers at 600 locations had been hit in the global "ransomware" cyberattack.

He says if a new variant without a so-called kill switch pops up, then organizations will be on their own to prevent it from taking over their computers.

Individual European countries and the United States saw infections at a rate of only 10 percent to 20 percent of the most affected countries, according to the researcher who stumbled on the "kill switch". It spread cyber chaos worldwide, hitting Britain's hospital network, Germany's railway and scores of companies and government agencies.

"That's what makes this more troubling than ransomware was a week ago", Thakur said. CJ CGV Co. was restoring its advertising servers at dozens of its movie theatres after the attack left the company unable to display trailers of upcoming movies.

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"The government's response has been chaotic", the British Labour Party's health spokesman Jon Ashworth said.

Malware known as 'WannaCry, ' paralyzed computers and government agencies around the world.

He said it was too early to say who is behind the onslaught and what their motivation was.

This is already believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, disrupting computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in nations as diverse as Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, India and the U.S.

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