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WannaCrypt Ransomware Attacks on Out-of-Date Systems

May 15, 2017 | Ruth E. Promislow and Michael R. Whitt

The serious WannaCrypt ransomware worm which ran roughshod over internet connected computers worldwide on Friday and Saturday appears to have been stymied, at least temporarily, by security researchers. In the meantime, Microsoft has provided patches for out-of-date operating systems, apparently as far back as Windows97, which is still running on some legacy systems.

Microsoft has provided a blog post update related to this cyber breach/ransomware threat, which may provide assistance.

Note that there is no consensus amongst cybersecurity advisors or researchers about whether or not to pay the ransom. Some reports have indicated that monitoring of Bitcoin’s blockchain indicates that ransom payments are likely the exception rather than the rule, as volumes of transactions related to the malware’s instructions for payment have apparently been low.

The scope and severity of this ransomware threat highlights the increasing sophistication of technology being used to perpetrate cyber threats, and the increasing likelihood that organizations may be subject to such attack.

Read more on Microsoft’s guidance here

Promislow Ruth

Ruth E. Promislow
Commercial Litigation, Fraud and Cybersecurity Lawyer at Bennett Jones Toronto

Ruth Promislow practises commercial litigation with a strong focus on commercial crime, including cybersecurity, investment fraud, employee fraud and anti-money laundering. Ruth also focuses on cannabis-related litigation. [...]

Whitt Michael High Resolution Image

Michael R. Whitt Q.C.
Partner, Patent Agent, Trademark Agent, Head of Information Technology
Technology Business Commercialization and Compliance Lawyer at Bennett Jones Calgary

Michael Whitt is leader of the firm's Information Technology practice group and a senior member of the Intellectual Property practice, and is both a Patent Agent (2001) and a Trademark Agent (1986) in addition to being a lawyer. Michael advises technology-based businesses on commercialization and compliance matters, and on the structure, negotiation and documentation of novel business models, strategies and transactions, particularly regarding intellectual property and information and other technologies. Michael has been involved with computer and information technologies for over three decades [...]