wannacry ransomware malware security

Ransomware makes us all WannaCry

The Weekly Cypher is specially curated to keep you up-to-date on the latest in cybersecurity, biometrics, and related news and innovations. This week’s topics are:

Microsoft Criticizes NSA for Hoarding Software Vulnerabilities | Data Breach Today

Some of the largest malware attacks and data breaches have been caused by exploiting vulnerabilities in well-used software, from the zero-day exploit in Adobe Flash that enabled the Hacking Team attack in 2015 to access critical systems in the to the most recent WannaCry attack. Often, these vulnerabilities are well known by intelligence agencies, like the NSA, before they are used for malicious purposes. The most recent WannaCry ransomware attack has led Microsoft to openly criticize the agency for this practice, stating that they would have been able to prevent the attack had the NSA informed them of the vulnerability in their operating system. [Read More]

Microsoft Quickly Releases Patch for XP to Combat WannaCry | Infosecurity Magazine

Despite ending support for the Windows XP operating system, Microsoft released a critical patch for the OS to address the vulnerabilities that WannaCry exploits. The firm understood that many users across the globe still use the antiquated OS, and wanted to protect its customer ecosystem. In 2016, 90 percent of NHS organizations in the UK still used Windows XP, many of which were hit by the ransomware. Security experts agreed that this was an unusual move for the software giant, and highlights the seriousness of the attack. [Read More]

WannaCry Could be First Nation-State Ransomware | Data Breach Today

As security researchers dig deeper into the WannaCry ransomware that swept the globe last Friday, early signs show the attack may have originated in North Korea. This would make WannaCry the first nation-state launched ransomware attack, a new precedent in cyber warfare. Code comparison show similarities between the new ransomware and a backdoor from 2015 that was attributed to the elite North Korean hacking group Lazarus. The comparison was first pointed out by Google security researcher Neel Mehta on Twitter. [Read More]

Some Aspects of WannaCry Puzzle Researchers | Reuters

Researchers digging into the WannaCry ransomware attack are finding a few surprises in the code and flow of the attack, including how it gained a foothold in the first place. In fact, they’ve found no indicators as to how the malware got into the affected systems in the first place. Budiman Tsjin of RSA Security noted that there is no clear indication of what the first compromise for the ransomware was. Another surprising feature is the small amount the hackers requested to release the files encrypted by the ransomware. [Read More]

WannaCry Wasn’t the Only Attack Last Week | CBS News

WannaCry stole the spotlight last Friday for the massive damage it caused in a brief period of time, but Proofpoint, a security firm in California, reported that another larger attack actually swept the globe at the same time. Hackers released a malware called Adylkuzz that turned unsuspecting computers into “miners,” creating and funneling large amounts of digital currency to dark web markets. Though the only apparent impact on consumers was their computers running abnormally slow, the attack itself was actually larger in scale than WannaCry. [Read More]

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