Jueves, 17 Agosto, 2017

Aust business hit by ransomware attack

Danilo Martir | 19 May, 2017, 20:48

The virus spread quickly because the culprits used a digital code believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency - and subsequently leaked as part of a document dump, according to researchers at the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

"We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself", Kalember said. "We've never seen anything in this scale ..."

He finished by saying: "We should take from this recent attack a renewed determination for more urgent collective action".

"There's some truth to the idea that people are always going to hack themselves", said Dan Wire, a spokesman for security firm FireEye.

Ransomware is a sophisticated piece of malware that blocks the victim's access to his/her files, and the only way to regain access to the files is to pay a ransom.

"All GPs surgeries did open, though some of them had to use pen and paper". Ransomware attacks are not new, but the speed and vast proliferation of the virus alarmed the experts worldwide.

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The virus or malware behind the latest cyber-attack has been identified as "ransomware". Customers pay for extra features and even enhanced "virus protection" software.

The tally of victims so far includes FedEx in the United States, railroads in Germany and Russian Federation, factories and phone companies across Europe.

Wainwright said Europol had been concerned about cyber security in the healthcare sector, which deals with a lot of sensitive data, but declined to comment on whether Britain's National Health Service had been adequately funded. In the US, for instance, the federal government relies on legacy systems, spending $60 billion each year to maintain old technology, while spending just $20 billion on modernization.

The former USA national intelligence director says the global "ransomware" attack could grow much larger when people return to work.

"They lost it, somebody stole the information published it on the internet, and now it's being used against victims in the United States and elsewhere", said John Bambenek of Fidelis Cybersecurity.

Microsoft released security updates last month to address the vulnerability, with another patch released on Friday.

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Microsoft has taken the unusual step of re-releasing security updates for some older versions of its Windows platforms to counter a massive global wave of cyber ransomware attacks.

Darien Huss, a 28-year-old research engineer who assisted the anonymous British researcher who has been lauded a hero, said he was "still anxious for what's to come in the next few days, because it really would not be so hard for the actors behind this to re-release their code without a kill switch or with a better kill switch". The researcher, who uses the pseudonym "MalwareTech" for personal security, registered a domain name buried in the code of the attack and was surprised to discover that it was the kill switch that sent a signal to stop the attacks. There were no reported cases in New Zealand. "We verified it and turned the information over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

"Hence, I do not think that machines will be particularly vulnerable to such malware attacks, which encrypt files", said the CEO of an ATM manufacturing company. "Potentially hundreds of thousands and into the millions".

As terrifying as the unprecedented global "ransomware" attack was, cybersecurity experts say it's nothing compared to what might be coming - especially if companies and governments don't make major fixes.

"This was a combination attack, obviously coordinated".

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