In a recent worldwide cyber attack, a ransomware program that goes by the name WannaCry has managed to infect computers from all over the world. Reports claim that 99 countries were affected by WannaCry, including China and Russia. Among the severely affected was UK’s National Health Service(NHS) and Spain’s Telefonica, along with a number of businesses around the world. According to BBC, about 40 NHS organisations were impacted by the ransomware, causing hospitals to be closed down and operations to be canceled. Even our neighboring country, India looks to have taken a hit. However, there seems to be no reports of WannaCry incidents from Sri Lanka so far.
As what you would expect with ransomware, the victim’s computer files will be locked and encrypted. The only way one could gain access again is to pay whatever demanding ransom. After which you would be able to decrypt these encrypted files. With WannaCry, the demand is $300 in bitcoin. Once affected, a pop-up window would appear with instructions on how to make the payment. This pop-up also features 2 clocks. One clock would display the 3 day deadline to pay the ransom. Once reached, the demanding amount doubles. The second clock shows a deadline when the victim would lose their data forever.
Usually, ransomware relies on humans for it to get into computers. However, it looks like WannaCry looks is spreading via a worm. This essentially spreads by itself between computers within a network.
It is believed that a group of hackers calling themselves ShadowBrokers are behind the attack. This seems to use an exploit of a Windows Software vulnerability. Dubbed ETERNALBLUE, the exploit was developed by the National Security Agency(NSA). The same group had released this exploit last month, along with a collection of spy tools which were allegedly used by the NSA. Although, Microsoft already patched this vulnerability, it looks like those affected were ones that haven’t updated their software to get this fix.
Following the massive crisis, a malware analysis expert that goes by MalwareTech examined WannaCry. What he accidentally found was a kill switch that stopped the ransomware from spreading further. Unfortunately, this did not impact any of the already affected systems. However, this is only temporary though. MalwareTech’s solution may have slowed down the ransomware. But this does not mean WannaCry is gone and out. In fact, all that’s needed is for the attackers to change the code and start again.
It’s very important everyone understands that all they need to do is change some code and start again. Patch your systems now! https://t.co/L4GIPLGKEs
— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) May 13, 2017
Most of us use the internet on a daily basis. So a ransomware of this magnitude should obviously be of serious concern to all of us. Microsoft even rolled out an update to its older operating systems such as the Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows 8, despite the fact that the company no longer provides mainstream support for them. Thankfully, people are already working on a permanent fix for the issue. But does this mean you have nothing to worry about? Not quite. Here are a few things you should do to keep yourself safe from these type of harmful attacks.
As far as we know, WannaCry hasn’t made it to Sri Lanka, let’s hope the situation remains the same. There are also rumors of WannaCry 2.0, a new version of the ransomware without the kill switch. However, there’s nothing official on this as of yet. We’ll be sure to update this post should anything come up. Until then, stay safe.
As of now, the number of affected victims have risen to around 200,000 in at least 150 countries. Rumors of a WannaCry 2.0 may look to be a little more than just a rumor now. According to The Hacker News, Costin Raiu from the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Labs confirmed to have seen WannaCry samples without the kill switch. So unless the vulnerable systems are patched, chances are this might make another round, and t his time the damage might be more serious.
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WordCamp Colombo, Sri Lanka 23rd September 2017 at the BMICH WordCamps are community-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. This is the first WordCamp which organized in Sri Lanka.
WordCamp Colombo, Sri Lanka
23rd September 2017 at the BMICH
WordCamps are community-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. This is the first WordCamp which organized in Sri Lanka.
(Saturday) 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo
#ngage is a free and open forum of tech and social media enthusiasts from all walks of life that come together to share knowledge, exchange ideas and discuss emerging trends
#ngage is a free and open forum of tech and social media enthusiasts from all walks of life that come together to share knowledge, exchange ideas and discuss emerging trends in technology and the internet.
It is a community driven event that is open to the public, typically attended by IT professionals, Internet buffs, entrepreneurs, bloggers and journalists.
Agenda for #ngage
* Being relevant in the age of the inevitable
– Isura Silva (General Manager, Sarvodaya-Fusion)
* “Lost in Translation” – How to engage with the language.
– Aysha Maryam Cassim (Teacher. Translator. Writer.)
* The art of sci-fi: on being a Sri Lankan author in an International world
– Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Author, Big Data Researcher)
Design expert Danny Setiawan from NYC will be giving us a talk at The Hive on User Interface, User Experience, building web platforms, and looking at each and every touchpoint
Design expert Danny Setiawan from NYC will be giving us a talk at The Hive on User Interface, User Experience, building web platforms, and looking at each and every touchpoint from the consumer’s perspective.
Come join us – for an interesting discussion on the 27th!
(Wednesday) 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
MAS Innovation Center
#50 Foster Lane, Colombo