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Monday, 26 June 2017

Another Cyber attack warning

It seems that cyber attacks are a bit like buses: Nothing for a period of time and then three come along at once.

This one is slightly unusual as it aimed at people who use USB sticks.  The criminals leave USB sticks at places where there are lots of people.  The sticks, some of which are branded, launch a ransomware or other virus once plugged into a laptop or other device.  If the device is part of a domain then the virus is transferred to the domain as well.

The one I have seen looks like a blank USB stick but the virus works in the background and in one instance the virus is not activated for up to 48 hours. This could allow an infected set of data to be backed up.  This could prevent a restore of good data in the event of a ransomware attack.

USB sticks are so cheap nowadays it is sheer folly to plug an unknown stick into your system.

Monday, 12 June 2017

EternalRocks Worm

If you thought the Wannacry Ransomeware worm which brought a vast number of computer systems to their knees was a major disaster, then watch out for this next one.  EternalRocks uses 7 leaked NSA hacking tools.  These were developed by the American Security Agency to hack into enemy systems, however the leaked versions are now being used to extort money worldwide.

This new one doesn’t alert the user that the system is infected until 24 hours later, hoping that a backup of the infected system will have been made and make restore more difficult.
The worm does not have a ‘kill switch’ which halted the spread of Wannacry.  It is looking for systems to infect and then demand a fee for the decrypt key. The vulnerability uses unpatched SMB ports.

We understand that systems which have the latest operating systems and are patched should be ok.    Certificated users with ISO 27001 will be aware of the requirements for this.

It is vital that organisations have good backups of data and that these backups are fully verified so that they can be installed in case of a problem. It is too late when a restore fails through an unverified backup or the backup is corrupted.

Cyber Crime is fast becoming the number one risk.

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