‘Unprecedented’ ransomware attack slams businesses around the world

“It’s a new kind of terrorism, and it’s something we’re going to have to get used to seeing: Organizations in Ukraine, Russia, Denmark, the United Kingdom and more nations appear to be facing another major ransomware cyber attack,” Colin Daileda reports for Mashable. “Though the perpetrator—and even the type of attack—aren’t entirely clear yet, photos of infected computer screens around the world are showing ransom notes demanding bitcoin, meaning the infection’s a type of ransomware that locks down a computer, until its operator pays a ransom to the hackers.”

“This type of ransomware is of a breed known as Petya, an advanced kind of ransomware that seizes control of infected hard drives in addition to encrypting the files on an infected computer,” Daileda reports. “Right now, Ukraine appears to be taking the brunt of the attack. The National Bank of Ukraine is reportedly unable to perform the basic functions of a bank right now due to a type of “virus,” and the international airport in the nation’s capital, Kiev, is bogged down in an attack as well. Attackers also went after Ukraine’s power supply, according to The New York Times, but have so far been unsuccessful.”

“A British advertising firm, as well as a Danish transportation and energy company have also reportedly been affected,” Daileda reports. “This ransomware attack is the second major attack to strike across the world in as many months. Last month, a ransomware called WannaCry seized computers and demanded Bitcoin from users, infecting computers in more than 100 countries. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Thirty-nine minutes ago, TechCrunch’s Taylor Hatmaker reported that, “at the time of writing, the Bitcoin address that today’s global attack points to has only collected 29 payments, for a total of 3.15 BTC, or $7,497. Considering the breadth of entities affected, that suggests that most victims know better than to cooperate.”

19 Comments

    1. Why would a Windows attack vector impact a Mac unless you have Boot Camp or a hypervisor Windows install?

      If memory serves the previous exploit was based on spear phishing and such a method could be used to target a Mac if the code runs on a Mac. Otherwise, it would be like me cussing you in Korean if you did not speak it.

      1. In the media’s view, the Mac and the GOP share an attribute: If a piece of news is beneficial to either, that news is played down; if the piece of news is detrimental, it’s trumpeted.

        Those who don’t understand this either haven’t really looked at the situation, or have an agenda against either the Mac or the GOP.

      1. Yep but it doesn’t change the fact Windows is an inferior OS in about every regard. Fortunately you spend more time using apps than gazing ay a crappy OS. Decided I have a Mac that’s fast enough at this point in order to wait and at least see what the new Mac Pro will be like. Doesn’t mean I will buy it over a PC Workstation if there isn’t at least parity on upgrades and advantages next year. This inferior Windows OS status is the reason I do wait but not forever.

        1. Why not take the PC, but replace Windows with Linux? I have a PC running Ubuntu, and it works great for me. M$ isn’t the end all, be all of PCs.

  1. The vast majority of these ransomware attacks are through trojans. It has very little to do with the OS involved and virtually everything to do with the companies and individuals involved.

    While we like to think the average Mac user is a cut above the average Windows user there are dumb Mac users who would run links that appear to be sent from fellow coworkers or their boss.

    The real problem with all these ransomware infections is it takes only one person in the organization to bring the entire organization down.

    As the old saying goes, you can’t fix stupid.

    There are ways to protect the organization, e.g., multiple firewalls, virtual machines, sandboxing, air gapping, among others, but some of the most robust combinations can make using the ‘net almost unworkable. Therefore many organizations don’t implement a full enough suite of protections to guard against dumb employees.

    Bottom line is it comes down to the weakest individual in the organization. It likely always will.

  2. Q: What single act would have stopped dead ALL these ransomware attacks?
    A: Updating Windows. That includes Windows XP SP3 up through Windows 10.

    Microsoft provides free updates for ALL these systems, providing immunity from ALL the current ransomware, HERE:

    http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4012598

    IOW: The only reason these people and companies got nailed by ransomware is laziness.

    [What, you pirated Windows and that’s why you can’t update? ->NO SYMPATHY]

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