Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

ABTV //

Malware

5/12/2017
04:50 PM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

Global Ransomware Attack Strikes 70K Systems (& Counting)

A wave of ransomware attacks based on a Shadow Brokers vulnerability strikes Telefonica and organizations worldwide.

A massive global ransomware attack is underway and, according to researchers at Kaspersky, more than 45,000 systems worldwide have been hit with the malware. The malware, dubbed "WannaCry," hits systems running Microsoft Windows on which a patch released on March 14, 2017 has not been applied.

The researchers note that, while immediately applying the March 14 patch release is considered critical, the ransomware itself doesn't depend on the vulnerability to work. It's the ransomware transmission and remote installation, rather, that appears to rest on the EternalBlue exploit patched by Microsoft.

According to the National Health Service, by mid-afternoon UK time,16 NHS organizations had been hit with the attack, in some cases requiring emergency patients to be directed to other hospitals after infected computers were shut down.

Spain's Telefonica was also hit, with several sources indicating that the telecom firm had instructed employees facing a ransomware screen to simply shut down their computers and await further instructions.

An article on Forbes.com pointed out that the EternalBlue exploit was first described publicly in the Shadow Brokers release of NSA hacking tools. In general, the initial infection vector is a .ZIP attachment to a spam email, which, when opened, immediately infects the target computer. According to CN-CERT, the Spanish cyber emergency response team, vulnerable versions of Windows include:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 SP2 y R2 SP1
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows RT 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 y R2
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2016

Initial ransom demands were for US $300 in BitCoins, payable through a link on the announcement screen, though more recent infections seem to have increased the ransom demand to US $600 with the promise that the amount will continue to increase. Several security research teams report that they are working on decryption tools, but none are currently available.

As of this writing, most of the infected systems have been in Russia, with systems in Europe, Asia and Africa also infected. While North America is not free from infection, the numbers have so far been low. For all system administrators, it's highly recommended that the advice of Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010-Critical be followed immediately.

For up-to-the minute information on systems that are infected and the response by researchers and government officials, Twitter's WannaCry Ransomware filter feed is hard to beat.

— Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, Light Reading. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-12777
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A function in Combodo iTop contains a vulnerability of Broken Access Control, which allows unauthorized attacker to inject command and disclose system information.
CVE-2020-12778
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop does not validate inputted parameters, attackers can inject malicious commands and launch XSS attack.
CVE-2020-12779
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop contains a stored Cross-site Scripting vulnerability, which can be attacked by uploading file with malicious script.
CVE-2020-12780
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A security misconfiguration exists in Combodo iTop, which can expose sensitive information.
CVE-2020-12781
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop contains a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability, attackers can execute specific commands via malicious site request forgery.