WannaCry virus attack preventable, says expert

‘Users should take precautions and update software’

May 16, 2017 08:26 am | Updated 08:26 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Vijayakumar Konda

Vijayakumar Konda

Even as WannaCry ransomware attack has sent shock waves in over 150 countries across multiple sectors, an NRI, who is setting up a fintech firm in the city specialising in Blockchain technology, says Bitcoin transactions can be tracked.

“As you are aware, the virus exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows. The perpetrators exploited the flaw due to the fact that these organisations have not updated their software security patches,” co-founder of Blocktrust Vijayakumar Konda said. He told The Hindu during an email chat that Microsoft had released a Windows security update in March to tackle the problem involved in the latest attacks, but many users were yet to run it. The administrators have to take precautions and update them immediately.

On the ransom demands and using Bitcoin payments, he said: “We have to distinguish between Bitcoin as cryptocurrency and Blockchain as technology underneath it. We can compare Blockchain to internet and Bitcoin to an application such as Paypal that uses internet technology.”

Mr. Konda pointed out that Bitcoin can be tracked though it is difficult due to its pseudo anonymous addresses. Every major Bitcoin exchange in the US and Europe require Know Your Customer (KYC) identification. Eventually governments will impose compliance and regulation to these technologies in order to make it easier for the governments to track such kind of illegal usage.

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