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emfizz.com September 25, 2017


CERT NZ receives 'unconfirmed' reports WannaCry ransomware has struck NZ

20 May 2017, 09:28 | Bernard Bryant

CERT NZ receives 'unconfirmed' reports WannaCry ransomware has struck NZ

Ransomware

WannaCry is arguably the most frightening ransomware attack the world has ever seen. Microsoft released a security update in March to protect against WannaCrypt but Windows XP was excluded from the patch. The WannaCry Ransomware virus is believed to have hit 200,000 victims in 150 countries, including United Kingdom hospitals, utilities in Spain, and Russia's interior ministry.

A commenter on cybersecurity expert Troy Hunt's blog recounted that one of his customers had paid the ransom and still not received any updates from the hackers after 24 hours. "Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage".

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call", Smith wrote while also noting how "cybersecurity has become a shared responsibility between tech companies and customers".

Governments "need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world", Smith says, urging agencies to "consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits".

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower and former NSA analyst living in exile in Russian Federation, is a longtime critic of the agency stockpiling vulnerabilities.

Telefónica, a Spain-based telecommunications company, was among the first major organizations to report being hit by the attack, and institutions in England's health care sector first reported problems by late morning on Friday, according to the FT. The security exploit, one of the many tools belonging to the NSA's cyber-arsenal was divulged earlier by the hacker group Shadow Brokers.

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Aside from patching and keeping systems up to date, having backups is always an essential element of good computer hygiene, which can help minimize the risk of ransomware as well.

The cyber criminals, whose identities are still unknown, also rebounded from the kill switch activation by releasing a second variation of the malware.

The VNCERT said the ransomware is extremely unsafe as it is capable of stealing information and decrypting the entire system that has been infected.

In India, there were reports of some systems of Andhra Pradesh Police being affected on Saturday, although CERT-In has said that the PCs were isolated and not on a network. It is now being said that about 45,000 attacks by the ransomware, which exploits a vulnerability in the Windows operating system to spread across networks on its own, have been recorded.

"By failing to support older versions of its operating system, the IT company provided the hackers that stole the NSA's IT Tomahawk Missile the opportunity they needed", expressed The Independent, while The Inquirer voiced similar concerns in an article titled "Microsoft, it's not just the NSA".

The WannaCrypt ransomware spread to devastating effect last week using worm -like capabilities that relied on a recently patched vulnerability in Microsoft's SMB file-sharing services (MS17-010).



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