Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Europol director sees 'escalating' cyber threat

Ben Pena | 15 May, 2017, 22:29

The state-owned oil company Petrobras and Brazil's Foreign Ministry also disconnected computers as a precautionary measure, and court systems went down, too.

Hackers are thought to be using "ransomware" to carry out the attack, a type of malicious software that blocks access to data until a ransom is paid and displays a message requesting payment to unblock it.

In an interview with SKY News on Sunday, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan said one Australian business has been targeted by the online attack and up to two more now at risk.

The ransomware attack unleashed on Friday has affected more than 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, according to Europe's law enforcement agency Europol on Sunday.

There are fears that the number of infections could rise further this week, as workers return to their places of employment and start up unpatched Windows computers.

IT systems at GP surgeries in Peterborough and across Cambridgeshire were shut-down due to the NHS cyber-attack.

A 22-year-old British researcher who uses the Twitter name MalwareTech has been credited with inadvertently helping to stanch the spread of the assault by identifying the web domain for the hackers' "kill switch"-a way of disabling the malware".

"At the moment, we are in the face of an escalating threat".

Who perpetrated this wave of attacks remains unknown.

At least one strain of the ransomware has proven especially vicious.

"Unlike most other attacks, this malware is spreading primarily by direct infection from machine to machine on local networks, rather than purely by email", said Lance Cottrell, chief scientist at the USA technology group Ntrepid.

In the world of ransomware, that was "unheard of six months ago", Levy said.

Anas Baig is a Security Journalist who covers Cyber Security & Tech News.

Microsoft said the situation was "painful" and that it was taking "all possible actions to protect our customers".

Worldwide investigators are hunting 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.

Coutinho flattered by Barcelona interest
There is, though, a growing sense of inevitability about Coutinho eventually moving to Barca - just hopefully that's not this summer.

That's why companies are anxious to beef up security or combat potential infections, according to Aviv Grafi, the chief technology officer of Votiro, another cybersecurity firm.

Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of Global Positioning System, said the attacks, combined with precautionary measures, have had an "extensive impact" on GP practices, some of which are likely to struggle on Monday.

A red-coloured critical alert has been issued in connection with the WannaCry attack that hit over 90,000 systems across 75 countries across the world including India.

Other European organizations hit by the massive cyberattack included some soccer clubs.

Russian Central Bank: State media agency Tass reported the bank discovered malware bulk emails to banks but detected no compromise of resources. The company said the virus has been localized and "technical work is underway to destroy it and update the antivirus protection".

Hunt told broadcaster Sky News, the United Kingdom had "never seen a ransomware attack on this scale".

He said the same thing could be done to crucial infrastructure, like nuclear power plants, dams or railway systems.

Michael Gazeley, managing director of cybersecurity firm Network Box, told CNN that the danger is far from over and that a company's security patch on Saturday might not still work by Monday.

Spain's Telefonica, a global broadband and telecommunications company, was among the com-panies hit.

Problems with cyber security in NHS organisations were highlighted previous year by Dame Fiona Caldicott, the national data guardian, who warned that issues were given insufficient priority and that health bodies persisted in using obsolete computer systems, The Times said.

"For so many organizations in the same day to be hit, this is unprecedented", Wysopal said.

"It's particularly concerning when you're talking about widely-available software, when the impact on the people is going to be the public at large, not the handful of targets an agency might have", Singh Guliani told CNNTech.

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake up call".

Speaking after a Cobra meeting on Saturday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted "there's always more" that can be done to protect against viruses.


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