Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Be alert to ransomware attack, govt says

Be alert to ransomware attack, govt says Be alert to ransomware attack, govt says
Ellis Copeland | 28 June, 2017, 04:15

The number of companies and agencies reportedly affected by the ransomware campaign was piling up fast, and the electronic rampage appeared to be rapidly snowballing into a real-world world crisis.

Among those who have been hit by the ransomware are global shipping company Maersk, pharmaceutical company Merck, food conglomerate Mondelez worldwide, San Francisco-based law firm DLA Piper, British advertising firm WPP and Russian oil company Rosneft.

"The central bank is confident that the banking infrastructure's defence against cyber fraud is properly set up and attempted cyber attacks on banks' IT systems will be neutralised", it said.

Danish shipping company Maersk said systems were down across multiple sites.

"We confirm our company's computer network was compromised today as part of a global hack".

MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL: Food company Mondelez International said employees in different regions were experiencing technical problems but it was unclear whether this was due to a cyber attack.

The global cyber attack is caused by ransomware which holds computers ransom in exchange for a specific amount of money - in this case Bitcoin. Petya, like other ransomware variants, encrypts files and makes users pay to get them back.

While the malware's most concentrated effects were reported in Ukraine, several companies and at least one utility in Russian Federation were also reportedly affected.

But Kaspersky Lab have said in their preliminary findings that the attack is not a variant of Petya, but a whole new virus of its own. Experts suggest the malware is taking advantage of the same weaknesses used by the WannaCry attack. (Microsoft recently released a patch meant to address this flaw.) That exploit made its way into the wild after a group calling itself The Shadow Brokers dumped what it said was a suite of NSA hacking tools on the internet in April.

He said it was highly likely the attack had exploited the NSA hacking tool and he expected the outbreak to be reported in the Americas soon, as workers turned on vulnerable machines, allowing the virus to attack. It is continuing to investigate.

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"We stand ready to support any requests for assistance", officials said in a statement.

While experts can not definitively say where that attack originated, information hidden in the code used to run in pointed to the involvement of North Korea.

Updated A huge ‪ransomware‬ outbreak has hit major banks, utilities and telcos in Ukraine as well as victims in other countries.

According to security firm Cisco Talos, the ransomware initially infected MeDoc, a piece of Ukranian accounting software.

GoldenEye goes one step further, however: It encrypts files and NTFS structures, meaning infected computers won't even boot up. It spread to other computers on companies' networks by leveraging software holes.

Ukrenergo, the country's state power distributor, also says its IT system was hit, but told Reuters that no power supplies were affected.

Rozenko Pavlo, the deputy Prime Minister, said he and fellow Ukrainian government members do not have access to their computers.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is among the sites hit by a new malicious data-scrambling cyber attack which has hit government, businesses, banks and airports across Europe and the UK.

From Moscow, NPR's Lucian Kim reports, "Ukraine has blamed Russian Federation for cyber attacks in the past, a charge Moscow denies".

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