cyber attack

The ransomware attack on worldwide computer networks earlier this month largely spared those of the federal government. While the government dodged a bullet this time, experts say, its systems are still vulnerable — although perhaps less so than in the past.

When the global malware attack — dubbed "WannaCry" — was first detected, a government cybersecurity response group moved quickly.

The WannaCry ransomware that attacked computers in 150 countries has lines of code that are identical to work by hackers known as the Lazarus Group, according to security experts. The Lazarus hackers have been linked to North Korea, raising suspicions that the nation could be responsible for the attack.

Microsoft has had a whirlwind last few days. The company's Windows operating system was the target of a massive cyberattack that took down hundreds of thousands of computers across 150 countries. While it's too soon to say the worst is over — there could be another wave — the president of the company does have two big takeaways.

One takeaway is sexy and edgy. The other is boring, plain vanilla — but no less important to Brad Smith, president of Microsoft.

Updated Sat. May 13 at 10:10 a.m. ET

Cyber security experts are still scrambling to contain a global ransomware attack that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, Ukraine, and India.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A Russian hacker will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Friday. Roman Seleznev, whose father is a prominent member of the Russian Parliament, was convicted last August for his part in a multi-million dollar credit card fraud scheme.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia won't be expelling U.S. diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions, as his foreign minister had suggested earlier Friday.

Instead, he says he will decide how to move forward depending on the actions of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to praise Putin's decision, calling it a "great move."

A bipartisan group of four senators is calling for Congress to take a closer look at allegations that Russia used cyberattacks to try to influence the American election in favor of Donald Trump.

The reports should "alarm every American," Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a joint statement.

The SWIFT messaging network is used by banks to transmit instructions for money transfers around the world.

But hackers utilized the network to steal $81 million from Bangladesh's central bank in February. Now, SWIFT (an acronym for Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) says a second bank was attacked.

University of Washington

If cyber crime is a growth industry, so is fighting cyber crime.

The University of Washington Tacoma is the latest school to join the ranks of colleges and universities offering degrees in fighting cyber crooks.

Security professionals in both the U.S. government and in private industry have long feared the prospect of a cyberwar with China or Russia, two states capable of launching destructive attacks on the computer networks that control critical assets such as the power grid or the financial system.

Now they face a new cyberthreat: Iran.

"[The Iranians] have all the resources and the capabilities necessary to be a major player in terms of cyberwarfare," says Jeffrey Carr, an expert on cyberconflict who has consulted for the U.S. Department of Defense.

PNNL / Flickr

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state gets about 4 million cyber attacks a day. But workers there are just now getting back online after a sophisticated attack shut down most Internet services last Friday.

© 2011 Strategic News Service LLC

Remember when we used to call the Internet the "information superhighway"? Today, that highway is starting to resemble the route Mad Max traveled in The Road Warrior. You can't go out on it without inviting an attack. Hardly a week goes by without seeing news reports about another corporation being sabotaged by hackers ... Sony, Intel, Google, and Lockheed are some of the more high profile victims.

For consumers, the biggest cyber threat is identity theft and stolen credit card numbers. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. This month on The Digital Future, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson looks at the huge increase in Advanced Persistent Threats: efforts by nation-states to steal information and technology.