Monday, 17 December, 2018

Security expert provides tips following global ransomware attack

A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack as captured by a computer user in Taiwan is seen on laptop in Beijing Saturday Security expert provides tips following global ransomware attack
Kayla Schwartz | 14 May, 2017, 14:33

Organizations around the world were digging out Saturday from what experts are calling one of the biggest cyberattacks ever.

The companies and government agencies targeted were diverse. Two security firms - Kaspersky Lab and Avast - said they identified the malicious software in more than 70 countries.

Experts say that "with no support deal in place Trusts were unable to have access to Microsoft's anti-virus "patches" created to foil precisely the sort of attack experienced on Friday", The Telegraph reports.

But he also said he's concerned the authors of the malware could re-release it — perhaps in the next few days or weeks — without a kill switch or with a better one, or that copycats could mimic the attack.

Europol said Saturday that the attack was of an "unprecedented level and requires worldwide investigation".

Rudd is due to chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra meeting in Whitehall at 2.30pm. "The intent was to just monitor the spread and see if we could do anything about it later on". The ransomware locks down all the files on an infected computer and asks the computer's administrator to pay in order to regain control of them. It took advantage of a Windows vulnerability leaked in April and the hacking tool is believed to belong to the NSA.

In December it was reported almost all NHS trusts were using an obsolete version of Windows that Microsoft had stopped providing security updates for in April 2014.

French auto giant Renault became the first major French company to report being affected by Friday's ransomware attack that affected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries across the world, reports Automotive News.

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The first two? The "06 Oilers he beat and the 2012 Los Angeles Kings , who got 15 points during their run from Williams". The team that scored a season-high 318 goals managed three over the final three games and lost 2-1 in Game 7 at home.

But the patches won't do any good for machines that have already been hit. Security researchers said they observed some victims paying via the digital currency bitcoin, though they did not know what per cent had given in to the extortionists. Well, a young security researcher - known as malwaretechblog on Twitter - took a look at the ransomware's code and noticed that it connected to an unregistered domain name consisting of a random string of characters.

"Initially someone had reported the wrong way round that we had caused the infection by registering the domain, so I had a mini freak out until I realised it was actually the other way around and we had stopped it", MalwareTech tells The Guardian. The researcher explained that the attackers may still rewrite the code and relaunch the cycle and urged everyone to promptly patch their systems.

The cyberattack affected 16 organizations that are part of the National Health Service on Friday, causing some surgical procedures to be canceled and ambulances diverted.

Theresa May said the Government is not aware of any evidence patient records had been compromised.

The spread of the virus dubbed WannaCry - "ransomware" which locked up more than 100,000 computers - had slowed, cybersecurity experts said, but they warned that the respite may be brief. "The National Cyber Security Centre is working with all organisations here in the United Kingdom that have been affected and that's very important". The country's central bank said the banking system was hit, and the railway system also reported attempted breaches. "Anyone who applied the patch that Microsoft released likely wasn't affected by this", John Villasenor, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in a statement late Friday, encouraged people to update their operating systems.

"There will be lessons to learn from what appears to be the biggest criminal cyber-attack in history", Ms Rudd said. Windows machines that are up-to-date are safe from this ransomware. Here's how to turn automatic updates on.

The tools used to carry out the hack - dubbed a superweapon - are thought to be a surveillance tool developed by the US's National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on terrorists and enemy states.

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