In Computer Attacks- Clues Point to Frequent Culprit: North Korea – The New York Times

“SAN FRANCISCO — Intelligence officials and private security experts say that new digital clues point to North Korean-linked hackers as likely suspects in the sweeping ransomware attacks that have crippled computer systems around the world.The indicators are far from conclusive, the researchers warned, and it could be weeks, if not months, before investigators are confident enough in their findings to officially point the finger at Pyongyang’s increasingly bold corps of digital hackers. The attackers based their weapon on vulnerabilities that were stolen from the National Security Agency and published last month.

Security experts at Symantec, which in the past has accurately identified attacks mounted by the United States, Israel and North Korea, found early versions of the ransomware, called WannaCry, that used tools that were also deployed against Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Bangladesh central bank last year and Polish banks in February. American officials said Monday that they had seen the same similarities.”

This is happy Microsoft in China day. The three countries hit the hardest by the ransomware attack on Windows XP, are the most guilty of stealing and not paying Microsoft for legal copies of their operating systems they steal. What justice at last.
If I were at Microsoft, I would be discussing Microsoft planning more ransomware attacks on the users of stolen OS. The payments could be sent directly to Microsoft.

China- Addicted to Bootleg Software-Reels From Ransomware Attack – The New York Times

“HONG KONG — China is home to the world’s largest group of internet users, a thriving online technology scene and rampant software piracy that encapsulates its determination to play by its own set of digital rules.But as the country scrambles to recover from a global hacking attack that hit its companies, government agencies and universities especially hard, its dependence on pirated software is getting a harder look.

A large number of computers running pirated versions of Windows in China and Russia probably contributed to the cyberattack’s spread, according to the Finnish cybersecurity company F-Secure. Pirated software tends to be more vulnerable to malware and viruses. Because pirated software usually is not registered with the developer, its users often miss out on major security patches that could ward off attacks.

China, India and Russia were among the countries most affected by the ransomware attack, according to the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab. The three countries are also big sources of pirated software. A study last year by BSA, a trade association of software vendors, found that in China, the share of unlicensed software reached 70 percent in 2015. Russia, with a rate of 64 percent, and India, with 58 percent, were close behind.”

How to Password Protect Documents and PDFs with Microsoft Office

“Microsoft Office lets you encrypt your Office documents and PDF files, allowing no one to even view the file unless they have the password. Modern versions of Office use secure encryption that you can rely on–assuming you set a strong password.”

Source: How to Password Protect Documents and PDFs with Microsoft Office