Saturday, 13 May 2017

More on worldwide Ransomware attacks


This could be one of the worst-ever recorded attacks of its kind - “I’ve never seen anything like this with ransomware,"
 
"Worst-Ever Recorded" Ransomware Attack Strikes Over 57,000 Users Worldwide, Using NSA-Leaked Tools

12 May, 2017


The ransomware has been identifed as WannaCry

* * *
Update 4: According to experts tracking and analyzing the worm and its spread, this could be one of the worst-ever recorded attacks of its kind. The security researcher who tweets and blogs as MalwareTech told The Intercept I’ve never seen anything like this with ransomware," and "the last worm of this degree I can remember is Conficker.” Conficker was a notorious Windows worm first spotted in 2008; it went on to infect over nine million computers in nearly 200 countries. As The Intercept details,







Today’s WannaCry attack appears to use an NSA exploit codenamed ETERNALBLUE, a software weapon that would have allowed the spy agency’s hackers to break into any of millions of Windows computersby exploiting a flaw in how certain version of Windows implemented a network protocol commonly used to share files and to print. Even though Microsoft fixed the ETERNALBLUE vulnerability in a March software update, the safety provided there relied on computer users keeping their systems current with the most recent updates. Clearly, as has always been the case, many people (including in governments) are not installing updates. Before, there would have been some solace in knowing that only enemies of the NSA would have to fear having ETERNALBLUE used against them–but from the moment the agency lost control of its own exploit last summer, there’s been no such assurance.
 Today shows exactly what’s at stake when government hackers can’t keep their virtual weapons locked up.
 As security researcher Matthew Hickey, who tracked the leaked NSA tools last month, put it, “I am actually surprised that a weaponized malware of this nature didn’t spread sooner.”

Update 3: Microsoft  has issued a statement, confirming the status the vulnerability:




Today our engineers added detection and protection against new malicious software known as Ransom:Win32.WannaCrypt.
 In March, we provided a security update which provides additional protections against this potential attack.
 Those who are running our free antivirus software and have Windows updates enabled, are protected.We are working with customers to provide additional assistance.

Update 2: Security firm Kaspersky Lab has recorded more than 45,000 attacks in 74 countries in the past 10 hours. Seventy-four countries around the globe have been affected, with the number of victims still growing, according to Kaspersky Lab. According to Avast, over 57,000 attacks have been detected worldwide, the company said, adding that it "quickly escalated into a massive spreading."

According to Avast, the ransomware has also targeted Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan. The virus is apparently the upgraded version of the ransomware that first appeared in February. Believed to be affecting only Windows operated computers, it changes the affected file extension names to ".WNCRY." It then drops ransom notes to a user in a text file, demanding $300 worth of bitcoins to be paid to unlock the infected files within a certain period of time.

While the victim's wallpaper is being changed, affected users also see a countdown timer to remind them of the limited time they have to pay the ransom. If they fail to pay, their data will be deleted, cybercriminals warn. According to the New York Times, citing security experts, the ransomware exploits a "vulnerability that was discovered and developed by the National Security Agency (NSA)." The hacking tool was leaked by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, the report said, adding, that it has been distributing the stolen NSA hacking tools online since last year.

Predictably, Edward Snowden - who has been warning about just such an eventuality - chimed in on Twitter, saying "Whoa: @NSAGov decision to build attack tools targeting US software now threatens the lives of hospital patients."
 
*  *  *
Update 1: In a shocking revelation, The FT reports that hackers responsible for the wave of cyber attacks that struck organisations across the globe used tools stolen from the US National Security Agency.

A hacking tool known as “eternal blue”, developed by US spies has been weaponised by the hackers to super-charge an existing form of ransomware known as WannaCry, three senior cyber security analysts said. Their reading of events was confirmed by western security officials who are still scrambling to contain the spread of the attack. The NSA’s eternal blue exploit allows the malware to spread through file-sharing protocols set up across organisations, many of which span the globe.

As Sam Coates summed up...
*  *  *
We earlier reported in the disturbing fact that hospitals across the United Kingdom had gone dark due to a massive cyber-attack...





Hospitals across the UK have been hit by what appears to be a major, nationwide cyber-attack, resulting in the loss of phonelines and computers, with many hospitals going "dark" and some diverting all but emergency patients elsewhere. At some hospitals patients are being told not to come to A&E with all non-urgent operations cancelled, the BBC reports.
 The UK National Health Service said: We’re aware that a number of trusts that have reported potential issues to the CareCERT team. We believe it to be ransomware.” It added that trusts and hospitals in London, Blackburn, Nottingham, Cumbria and Hertfordshire have been affected and are reporting IT failures, in some cases meaning there is no way of operating phones or computers.
 At Lister Hospital in Stevenage, the telephone and computer system has been fully disabled in an attempt to fend off the attack.
 NHS England says it is aware of the issue and is looking into it.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May confirms today's massive cyber hit on NHS is part of wider international attack and there is no evidence patient data has been compromised.

The situation has got significantly worse as The BBC reports the ransomware attack has gone global.

Screenshots of a well known program that locks computers and demands a payment in Bitcoin have been shared online by parties claiming to be affected.


It is not yet clear whether the attacks are all connected. One cyber-security researcher tweeted that he haddetected 36,000 instances of the ransomware, called WannaCry and variants of that name.





"This is huge," he said.

There have been reports of infections in the UK, US, China, Russia, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Taiwan and others.

The BBB details a number of Spanish firms were among the apparent victims elsewhere in Europe.




Telecoms giant Telefonica said in a statement that it was aware of a "cybersecurity incident" but that clients and services had not been affected.
 Power firm Iberdrola and utility provider Gas Natural were also reported to have suffered from the outbreak.
 There were reports that staff at the firms were told to turn off their computers.

In Italy, one user shared images appearing to show a university computer lab with machines locked by the same program.


Bitcoin wallets seemingly associated with the ransomware were reported to have already started filling up with cash.







"This is a major cyber attack, impacting organisations across Europe at a scale I've never seen before,"said security architect Kevin Beaumont.

According to security firm Check Point, the version of the ransomware that appeared today is a new variant.



"Even so, it's spreading fast," said Aatish Pattni, head of threat prevention for northern Europe.

Several experts monitoring the situation have linked the attacks to vulnerabilities released by a group known as The Shadow Brokers, which recently claimed to have dumped hacking tools stolen from the NSA.

A massive cyber attack demanding ransoms appears to have infected a number of organisations around the world.


There have been reports of infections in as many as 74 countries, including several in New Zealand, a live-tracking map of the attack shows.


Hospital computers across Britain shut down by cyberattack, hackers demanding ransom

Hospital computers across Britain shut down by cyberattack, hackers demanding ransom


RT,
12 May, 2017

Hospitals across Britain have been hit by a large-scale cyberattack. Some are having to divert emergency patients, with doctors reporting messages demanding money.

National Health Service (NHS) hospitals across the country were hit by a bug spreading through their IT systems. Doctors have been posting on Twitter about what has been happening.

Here's what a London GP sees when trying to connect to the NHS network

NHS Digital which has responsibility for IT systems says the attack is not believed to have been a targeted one. It has named the malware 'Wanna Decryptor' as the likely cause of the problem, but insists there is no evidence that patient data has been accessed.

Prime Minister Theresa May is being kept informed on the situation, a spokesperson for her office told Reuters, while health minister Jeremy Hunt has been briefed by cyber security officials.


A screengrab of an instant message conversation circulated by one doctor says: “So our hospital is down … We got a message saying your computers are now under their control and pay a certain amount of money. And now everything is gone.”

A second doctor tweeted: “Massive NHS hack cyber attack today. Hospital in shut down. Thanks for delaying emergency patient care & endangering lives. Assholes.”

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, one of those affected, said in a statement: “Today, the trust has experienced a major IT problem, believed to be caused by a cyber attack.

Why would you cyber attack a hospital and hold it for ransom? The state of the world 😂

Immediately on discovery of the problem, the trust acted to protect its IT systems by shutting them down; it also meant that the trust’s telephone system is not able to accept incoming calls.

The trust is postponing all non-urgent activity for today and is asking people not to come to A&E.”

Someone as hacked into the computer network at Royal Blackburn Hospital!! Can't give out prescriptions to anyone!!!!

Blackpool Hospitals, also affected, tweeted: “Our computer systems are experiencing problems and we are working hard on a solution. We will update you as soon as possible.”

Sky News reported that sources inside the department of health had described the attack as "unexpected, but not unprecedented."

NW hospital computer systems under cyber attack 4 ransom... Sitting in front of a blank screen & can't do any work. Criminal Poor patients😠

According to reports, affected hospitals include those run by East and North Hertfordshire NHS trust, Barts Health in London, Essex Partnership university NHS trusts, the university hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS foundation trust, Southport and Ormskirk hospital NHS trust and Blackpool teaching hospital NHS foundation trust.

Services affected are thought to include picture archiving communication systems for x-ray images, pathology test results, phone and bleep systems and patient administration systems, the Telegraph reports.

We apologise but we are having issues with our computer systems. Please don't attend A&E unless it's an emergency. Thanks for your patience

At approximately 12:30pm we experienced a problem with our email servers crashing. Following this a lot of our clinical systems and patient systems were reported to have gone down,” an NHS IT worker said in a message to a Guardian reporter.

A bitcoin pop-up message had been introduced onto the network asking users to pay $300 to be able to access their PCs. You cannot get past this screen.

This followed with an internal major incident being declared and advised all staff to shut down all PCs in the trust and await further instructions.”

There are reports of messages on computers saying: “Oops. Your files have been encrypted,” and demands for bitcoin to be paid.



The hack appears to be an example of ransomware, where malicious hackers break into computers and only allow their owners back in when they pay enough money.

The attackers are allegedly demanding $300-worth (£232) of the digital currency bitcoin, otherwise the files will be deleted. It gives a deadline of May 19 to pay.

A screenshot obtained by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) purported to show the pop-up that appeared on at least one of the computers affected.

It said: “Your important files are encrypted. Maybe you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but do not waste your time.

Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.”

On Friday, Spain’s government warned that large numbers of companies had been attacked by cyber criminals who infected computers with the same ransomware used on the NHS.


The victims included Telefonica, the nation’s biggest telecommunications firm.


Here is coverage from the Guardian. Will they find a way of blaming Russia even thought the majority of attacks are on Russia, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs


  • Report: Massive ransomware cyber-attack hits over 74 countries
  • This is not targeted at the NHS, it’s an international attack, says Theresa May
  • NHS England declares major incident after ransomware blocks access to patient records, internal phones and mails



"Massive Disturbances" In German Rail System Due To Ransomware Attack




Germany's WAZ reports massive disturbances in local and long-distance rail traffic on Friday evening due to what appears to be the same ransomware attack that is spreading across the globe.

Numerous social media accounts are showing the following images...
More details to follow...
Local reports say that the situation in Germany is getting chaotic.


No comments:

Post a Comment