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No serious impact in India due to ransomware: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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5 ways to become a smaller target for ransomware hackers

The WannaCry worm has affected more than 200,000 Windows computers around the world since Friday, disrupting auto factories, global shipper FedEx Corp and Britain's National Health Service, among others.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement on Friday that it was "aware of reports of ransomware affecting global entities".

On top of that, the NSA would likely be able to claim that it is shielded from liability under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which says that the government can not be sued over carrying out its official duties.

China's Xinhua News Agency reported that thousands of devices in as many as 29,372 institutions have been infected by the ransomware attack, which created a global mayhem on Friday spreading to almost 100 countries in no time. This exploit is named as ETERNALBLUE.

The free update was released by Microsoft in March this year, a month before the NHS Digital notice was sent out.

The theft and posting of the stolen data gave criminals a huge head start.

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One of the tools contained in the Shadow Brokers leak, codenamed EternalBlue, proved to be "the most significant factor" in the spread of Friday's global attack, according to cyber-security firm Kaspersky Lab. Last week most of the intrusions were in Europe, with some in the USA, and this week it's spread to Asia, affecting about 200,000 computers (and climbing). Privacy experts say that this mess could have been prevented if people paid attention to Microsoft's software updates. Researchers from the firm stated that they found similarities in the "WannaCry" code to the malicious software that hackers from Pyongyang used in their previous attacks. The NSA did not immediately return a request for comment.

"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem".

"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", wrote Smith.

"We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits", Smith wrote.

Smith argued that in cyberspace, governments should apply rules like those regarding weapons in the physical world.

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says a software patch has been installed in systems to counter the ransomware attack.

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