Trump calls two meetings on global ransomware attack

Toby Manning
May 16, 2017

"This is an attack that represents extremely serious threat", Bossert told ABC News.

In the South Korean city of Asan, an electronic panel meant to show bus arrival times instead displayed a message demanding bitcoin payment.

The most important thing businesses and individuals can do is install their network patches and enable automated patching on their systems, and they should update their software. "We have an additional concern that copycats as we've seen in the past will provide variance to this tool and continue to come after us".

The ransomware campaign - which has gone through at least two phases as researchers worked to halt its advance - mostly affected Europe and Asia.

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.

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.

Weber warned there is no single entity capable of fixing this problem in the near future, since security depends on so many factors.

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Chris Wysopal of the software security firm Veracode says criminal organizations are likely behind this, given how quickly the malware has spread.

Senior security staffers with DHS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency met on Friday and Saturday in the White House to assess the threat from the cyber attack that struck computers in 150 countries, Reuters reported, citing sources.

"We're working side by side with partners in the private sector and worldwide partners", Bossert said.

The worm took advantage of vulernabilities in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Saturday morning at 9 a.m., after it had become clear the world was dealing with a unique digital ambush of unprecedented scale, Bossert also chaired a meeting of the NSC principals committee, which is composed of the senior-most administration officials, including Cabinet secretaries.

In a statement over the weekend, Microsoft President Brad Smith said "the governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call". "It'd be very satisfying for me, for all of our viewers I think if we find them and bring them to justice".

Other reports by VgToday

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