Saturday, 27 May, 2017

Self-propagating ransomware: What the WannaCry ransomworm means for you

Security Agency headquarters building in Fort Meade Maryland Security Agency headquarters building in Fort Meade Maryland
Kayla Schwartz | 19 May, 2017, 15:19

Two factors seem to be contributing to the relatively low cash haul: low ransom requests of $300 to $600, and many victims refusing to pay - which is the advice proffered by most law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about United States dollars 300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device. That's why it's called ransomware. Most ATMs were running fine, there could be some which may not have updated Microsoft's Windows operating system, sources said. The U.S. has had some malware infections from WannaCry, but the effect has been limited. The tools were made public by a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers.

Jorgensen also noted that this particular ransomware strategy, using stolen information about a Microsoft operating system vulnerability allegedly discovered by a USA intelligence agency, could lead to some deeper and necessary societal conversations about how to approach and address digital security issues. In some cases, the Windows is running on machines with legacy applications that won't run on an updated system.

Consumers are also at risk.

Weidman said that the best way to protect industrial systems that can't be updated is to place them on isolated network segments that don't have direct access to the Internet. It seized the computers of a lot of countries and took the systems as a hostage.

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Britain's National Health Service said about a fifth of NHS trusts the regional bodies that run hospitals and clinics were hit by the attack on Friday, leading to thousands of cancelled appointments and operations.

In the United Kingdom, hospitals were crippled by the cyberattack, which forced operations to be canceled and ambulances to be diverted. Among those hit were Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica and FedEx Corp.in the U.S. Its main element was developed by the NSA, not the hackers-a vulnerability codenamed Eternalblue, which allowed the agency to commandeer old, pre-Windows 10 versions of the Microsoft operating system.

Last week's ransomware attack that brought down MRI scanners in the United Kingdom, railroad ticket machines in Germany, interior ministry computers in Russian Federation and parts of the FedEx network in the USA is bound to cause a backlash against spy agencies' cyber warfare capabilities.

Terming such cyber-attacks as a shared responsibility between tech companies and customers, the tech giant said, so many computers remained vulnerable even two months after the release of a patch. Install Microsoft's patch. 3. "That to me is far scarier than a bunch of hard drives being encrypted". Use a reputable security software to prevent attacks in the future. A 22-year old security researcher in the United Kingdom discovered a "kill-switch" to initially stop the spread of the attack. The ease of stopping the attack suggests the hackers were new to this game. "This ransomworm specifically used Microsoft SMB vulnerability MS17-010 to spread internally", which is the same vulnerability the NSA utilized for a couple years and was recently exposed via the January NSA tools leak.

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