Conditions behind cyberattack may be hard to mimic

May 17 13:47 2017

Senior US security officials held another meeting in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NSA were working to help mitigate damage and identify the perpetrators of the massive cyber attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

CERT NZ Operations Manager Declan Ingram says, “CERT NZ has received a small number of unconfirmed reports of the Wannacry ransomware affecting New Zealanders”. Some ransomware that encrypts files ups the stakes after a few days, demanding more money and threatening to delete files altogether.

In the case of WannaCry, the program encrypts your files and demands payment in bitcoin in order to regain access. That’s why it’s called ransomware.

The ransomware is spread by taking advantage of a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft released a security patch for in March. The exploit was leaked last month as part of a trove of NSA spy tools.

According to Matthew Hickey, founder of the security firm Hacker House, the attack is not surprising, and it shows many organizations do not apply updates in a timely fashion.

Before Friday’s attack, Microsoft had made fixes for older systems, such as 2001’s Windows XP, available only to mostly larger organizations that paid extra for extended technical support.

Computer security experts assured individual computer users who have kept their PC operating systems updated that they are relatively safe. Playing with fire finally caught up with the victims. Microsoft also recommends running its free anti-virus software for Windows.

After an emergency government meeting Saturday in London, Britain’s home secretary said one in five of 248 National Health Service groups had been hit.

An unrivaled global cyber-attack is poised to continue claiming victims, even as United Kingdom health facilities whose systems were crippled early in the assault are returning to normal operation.

Also hit were Deutsche Bahn, the Russian Central Bank, Russian Railways, Russia’s Interior Ministry, Megafon and Telefónica.

According to him, when he came to know about the news of this random ransomware software, he just wanted to take a dig and explore it. Microsoft on Saturday took the “highly unusual step” of releasing a public patch for older Windows versions that are otherwise only eligible for custom support – Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003 – to fix the vulnerability being exploited by the ransomware attack. “Unfortunately, most people don’t have them”, Abrams says.

Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion attack Friday that locked up computers and held users’ files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an attacker sends specially crafted messages to a Microsoft Server Message Block 1.0 (SMBv1) server.

Install Microsoft’s patch. 3. “Enable windows update, update and then reboot”. The U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center said it is “working round the clock” to restore vital health services.

Back up your data on an offline hard drive. The tools appeared stolen by hackers, who dumped them on the internet.

A security expert in England has been hailed as an “accidental hero” for quashing the spread of the initial version of the ransomware late Friday. “The geography of attacks that hit post-Soviet Union most also suggests that”. But computers and networks that haven’t updated their systems are at risk.

Bahl maintained that no “major” incidents have been brought to CERT-In’s notice yet, but was quick to add that a full assessment of the impact on ground can be made only on Monday when people return to work after the weekend.

Worldwide investigators hunted Saturday for those behind an unprecedented cyber-attack that affected systems in dozens of countries, including at banks, hospitals and government agencies, as security experts sought to contain the fallout.

The cyberextortion attack hitting dozens of countries spread quickly and widely thanks to an unusual confluence of factors: a known and highly unsafe security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn’t apply Microsoft’s March software fix, and a software design that allowed the malware to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks.

Global extortion cyberattack hits dozens of nations

Conditions behind cyberattack may be hard to mimic
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