Hospitals, use linux. It's free and secure.
every affected organization should sue the NSA/USA government
The only major platform that had security issues is Microsoft, eliminate that from your network and the problem disappears. The London stock exchange was tricked into developing a new trading platform based on windows and the day it went live was the only day it never traded. I've worked on the largest commercial Unix systems and we never have these issues, London stock exchange is now using a Linux system as they should have all along.
Brian M
Of course no-one is mentioning the other important factors (as in most crimes for gain), how the criminal receive their ransom money without being detected. All governments have to do is ban the use of untraceable crypto currencies - would dramatically reduce the profitability of these attacks. It might be argued that you can't control crypto currencies, but you can very easily with this type of transaction by blocking the means of buying the currency i.e. at the point of exchange via credit card etc.
LINUX will be a very temporary fix.
As soon as enough systems are using it the hackers will figure out a way to attack it. Same with Apple.
Apple users used to brag it was not hackable. Then it got big enough or the hackers saw a challenge and some were hacked. LINUX will be next in line, especially if big organizations keep using it.
XP was my favorite system. I used it right to the end and will never forgive MS for deserting it. They could have supported it for a fee. Nobody expected free support but they made more money on newer, often bad, systems.
If one group can write an operating system another group can attack it....that is how war is.
The U.S. and U.S.S.R. developed huge nuclear weapons systems. Neither country has ever learned how to fight a smaller insurgency. Cyberwar is a classic insurgency.
Douglas Jack
The other end of the problem is encrypted digital currencies like Bitcoin used to secretly transfer the 300$ of 'money' (Greek 'mnemosis' = 'memory'.
During humanity's peaceful, productive & abundant 100s of 1000s of years of 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generating') period, String-shell (Wampum, Quipu, Cowrie-shell) time-based accounting value systems were based in the 100 person Multihome-Dwelling-Complex (Longhouse/apartment, Pueblo/townhouse & Kanata/village) Domestic 'economy' (Gk 'oikos' = 'home' + 'namein' = 'care-&-nurture') & in Production-Society/Guild domestic, industry & commercial economies. 70% of humanity today live in multihomes. 100 person multihomes provided privacy & proximity for intergenerational, female-male collaboration. Multihomes represent intimate yet powerful critical-mass, economies-of-scale economies doing many millions of dollars worth of domestic caring, healing, feeding, plumbing etc 'business' ('busy-ness') per year. Such collective cultivation of specialized professional capacities meant that everyone young & old, handicapped & abled was born into a large 'corporation' (L 'corp' = 'body') with access to creative-capacities & protections. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/extending-our-welcome-participatory-multi-home-cohousing
Everyone was an owner, progressively over the course of their lifetimes from young apprentice to elder master. String-shell integrated: Capital (decision-making), Currency (compensation), Condolence (social-security), Collegial mentored-apprentice education, Math-based communication, Costume of professional identity & other value functions into one integrated accounting system. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/8-economic-democracy
While string-shell worldwide, such as Turtle-Island (North-America)'s Wampum, Esnoguay, Seewan, Kayoni etc. was manufactured in major centers such as New-York's Long-Island using the Quahog shells, it was issued in relation to work performed by the Production-Society/Guilds. During the indigenous period such world-system 'money' was the original foundation of 'kingdoms' ('kin' = 'family') as part of a 'fractal' ('building-block' where the 'part-contains-the-whole') intimate to internationalism. With colonial plunder such as the Crusades, 'kings' who were once leaders of their Guilds, perverted 'money' as a universal labour value, to dominate 'community' (L 'com' = 'together' + 'munus' = 'gift-or-service'). Oligarchs analysing this systematic theft, put themselves into the position of controlling the Finance-Media-Education-Military-Industrial-Legislative-Complex. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/5-collaborative-language
It is only during the plunder, rape & genocide of the last 7000 years of 'exogenous' ('other-generated') colonialism that; oligarch directed institutional state thieves & murderers have gained control of the world's 'financial' (French 'fin' = 'end' as to 'conclude-deals') metal coin 'money' & other aspects of our economic systems. The anonymity of colonial 'money' & bitcoin is a violent affront to gentle intimate fractal worldwide human 'value' systems. It is time for humanity & bitcoin to grow-up past the inherent violence of anonymous plunder & become intimate fractal responsible systems of mutual-aid, once again. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy
So what this article is actually saying is that Microsoft is the real ransomware. I've said this for years as they force you to pay full price for an update by not supporting a later version. I paid for 95,98,Xp,7,8 with no real benefits except directx and capacity limits.
NOTHING is perfect but I would rather take my (rational) chances with *nix than use Windows. For Microsoft to claim that the problem is elsewhere (eg governments, criminals) rather than in their software )which over decades has been the source of many problems) is simply BS. Perhaps governments should outlaw the licenses that basically try to absolve software vendors of responsibility.
Would it be a good idea if the government did not hold system exploits in such a place where hackers can find them? I know, let us ask a random selection of four year olds their opinion. I wonder what they will say, big tractor, nice puppy or not on a drive linked to the internet.
It would appear rather obvious to me. Too totally obviously not a good idea. If these files are being collected by people who have some sort of understanding about what they are doing, else why are they doing the job, so how is it not reasonable to believe that what we are being told here is not the whole truth of the matter. Indeed a thing called a big fat lie. I say, on the balance of probability, we are being told an obvious, glaring, smack in the face, lie.
So if we are being told a lie why would that be? We can see that what is being magicked up is a 'problem' and if that is so it would be done in order to provoke a 'reaction', of some sort. The reaction is fear, concern that our valuable computers and data within could be harmed causing inconvenience and risking its destruction.
So what is the 'solution' we are being offered simultaneously? Buy new OS for our computers, accept that government must spend vast sums on new IT kit to be able to keep up-to-date and - to every one else - update your computer on a regular basis.
OK so let us wind back here and put this together; we are being played with two of the oldest tricks, 1/. the idea that the government is utterly incompetent so we believe any story if it confirms that notion and 2/. the, so called, Hegelian dialectic: problem, reaction and solution to manipulate the public.
If it was not the NSA I would have a modicum less disbelief but when this 'story' centres around the agency that wants to have its eyes and ears into our every digital correspondence already, I say: come on, really, do you really believe all this piffle.
This was all apparently solved by some 19 year old surfer dude by luck and now he has got a job in government. Yup. And I have got a bridge to sell you buddy.
Article fails to mention that NSA only published exploit. They did not write ransomware code. Also, ransom is payable only in Bitcoin.