July 31, 2016
In mid-July, Israel’s National Cyber Authority issued a warning “that the country would be targeted by a massive cyber attack.” Government agencies were reportedly told be alert for “any possible scenario” and the warning applied to computer systems and cell phones.
Cisco’s latest security report confirms that recent attacks on hospitals, universities, and even some utility services, are on the rise. Using a type of malware known as “ransomware“, hackers can cut access to computer networks and systems and encrypt documents from victims until they receive payment. The report says hackers could make up to $34 million a year on ransomware attacks. Not bad for just pushing a few buttons on a cheap looking program window. No wonder there’s so many hackers.
Ransomware is the new black among Hackers. Hack data, encrypt it right there, force them to pay for decryption, then disappear into the night. A Network Security job is boring until you get hacked. Hackers have a way around anything as the DNC found out this year. They probably weren’t using Cisco equipment.
Hackers use a new approach; create a fake website that contains a so-called Angler exploit kit. The Angler exploit kit essentially scans a person’s web browser to find security holes, and then transmits malware like the popular Cryptowall 3.0 and Bedep software that then locks down a person’s computer.
They are attacking everything and anybody. Over 9,000 ransomware attacks this year already. Yet another reason we should just get rid of money and go back to riding horses.
Recently a Washington, D.C. area hospital chain MedStar became the latest health care industry victim of a cyberattack in March as hackers infiltrated its systems with a virus that crippled its IT infrastructure. Company spokeswoman Ann Nickels said she couldn’t say whether it was a ransomware attack. She said patient care was not affected, and hospitals were using a paper backup system.
An area Hospital in my hometown here in Germany was completely shutdown about 6 weeks ago too due to a virus too. After a quick talk with them I found out they weren’t even using VLAN’s which are vital to segmenting your network into smaller parts and increasing security. Their whole network was wide open. Even worse, they didn’t even use a DMZ for in and out traffic to go through first which made it easy for this hacker to toss his Trojan into one computer, which then infected every computer in the network. It’s happening everywhere.
While an attack on University computers may not represent the same sort of life-or-death threat as those of a hospital, the schools explained why the stakes were so high.
“Because we do world-class research here … we did not want to be in a position that we had exhausted the option to get people’s potential life work back in the future if they came today and said, ‘I’m encrypted, I can’t get my files,’” said one official in a statement cited by the CBC.
These messages I am getting out of the news lately are not good. Not good at all.