Science

Ransomware safety: what to know

Ransomware safety: what to know

Dame Fiona and the Care Quality Commission wrote to Mr Hunt to highlight a "lack of understanding of security issues", the newspaper said, and that "the external cyber threat is becoming a bigger consideration".

CERT-In today said it has not received any formal report of cyber attack on India's vital networks by the crippling global ransomware, "WannaCry". New versions of the malware are already emerging that could revitalize the cybercrime wave, however.

The company also reiterated a call it made earlier this year for an worldwide agreement among states to shield civilians and corporate noncombatants from hacking.

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex global investigation to identify the culprits", Europol's European Cybercrime Center says. Ahead of the meeting, Hunt told reporters that the level of criminality associated with the outbreak was at the "lower end" of what the government had expected.

Three Bitcoin wallets associated with WannaCrypt have received nearly $55,000 in transfers since the beginning of the outbreak, a pitifully small sum considering the scope of damage. Usually used by cyber criminals, ransomware is a popular means of making illicit money from victims who have to pay the criminals in order to have their data decrypted.

It comes as China prepares to enforce a wide-reaching cyber security law that USA business groups say will threaten the operations of foreign firms in China with strict local data storage laws and stringent surveillance requirements.




Funds have not been extracted from the relevant Bitcoin wallets as of the time of writing on Monday afternoon United Kingdom time. "We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits".

WannaCrypt initially infects endpoints via a phishing campaign or compromised RDP (remote desktop protocol). The hacking tool spreads silently between computers, shutting them down by encrypting data and then demanding a ransom of $300 to unlock them.

The attack, known as "WannaCry" had a major impact across Asia as workers there returned to work on Monday, with Chinese state media saying nearly 30,000 institutions there had been infected.

The worm that the as-yet unidentified authors of WannaCrypt created can be modified to drop nearly anything. Researchers recorded infections in tens of thousands of machines, and Europol estimated Sunday that the attack had spread to about 150 countries. Matthieu Suiche, a security researcher, was able to find two new variants of WannaCry. After "WannaCry", it released an emergency patch for older systems too. Because numerous computers impacted run older Windows systems like XP, Microsoft issued a rare patch for XP, which it had stopped updating more than three years ago.

Colin Vaudin, States of Guernsey Chief Information Officer, says a number of further steps have been taken since the attacks occurred, including emailing all government staff reminding them of the need to remain vigilant, checking the network, ensuring all systems are patched and contacting partner organisations.

There are two main types of ransomware: crypto-ransomware and police-themed.


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