GUEST OPINION by Hayley Turner Director of Industrial Security - APAC at Darktrace: “Double Extortion” might sound like the title of a cheap airport thriller, but it’s a fast-growing component of the current ransomware explosion. While a year and a half ago, only one knownthreat actor used the tactic, there are now more than 16 ransomware groups actively using it.
The US has charged six Russians, all officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU, of participating in intrusion of computer systems in a number of countries.
After what seems like an eternity, a security company has dared to mention the unmentionable: the US does have advanced persistent threats or nation-state attack groups which are active.
Microsoft appears to have bungled the release of details of flaws in its operating systems and application software this month, with details of a wormable flaw in the SMB protocol leaking online even though the company did not release a fix for it as part of its normal monthly patch Tuesday.
Public-key cryptography pioneer Whitfield Diffie has poured scorn on former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull over the latter's comment that "the laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia" made in the run-up to the introduction of the encryption bill in Parliament last year.
A well-known security researcher claims that there is a massive conflict of interest in the UK's National Cyber Security Centre being a part of the the country's main spy agency, GCHQ, because the focus of the two organisations is at odds with each other.
Windows ransomware known as SamSam has earned its creators almost US$6 million since late 2015, the security firm Sophos says, with the malware using carefully targeted attacks to obtain a ransom. Australia has been a target in about 2% of the attacks using this malware.
Global research conducted by security software vendor CrowdStrike reveals many companies lack visibility and awareness to combat supply chain attacks despite the majority having experienced breaches.
Ransomware attacks are significantly declining despite an increase in cyber attacks generally, according to the global IT association ISACA.
A year after a leaked NSA Windows exploit known as EternalBlue was used to create the WannaCry ransomware that caused chaos around the world, a security researcher says it is being used more than ever by attackers in crafting threats.
The number of records breached dropped nearly 25% globally in 2017, but ransomware breaches still cost organisations US$8 billion, with human error responsible for two-thirds of compromised records.
Cloud endpoint protection provider CrowdStrike has released research revealing a threat spends an average of 86 days in a corporate network before it is detected, despite needing under two hours to move laterally to other systems on the network.
The UK-based cyber security company, NCC Group, has been able to replace the destructive parts of NotPetya with telemetry and safeguards. It was then released into a live environment.
Australia has joined the UK and the US in blaming Russia for the NotPetya ransomware attack which hit Windows computers in a number of countries in June last year.
Britain has formally blamed Russia for the NotPetya ransomware attack in June last year, with Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad saying the decision "underlines the fact that the UK and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyber activity".
There has been an unprecedented level of new cyber crime attacks worldwide in 2017 — both in number and intensity — and next year is expected to be even worse, according to global security firm MailGuard.
WannaCry was the Windows ransomware that gained the most media coverage this year but security vendor Webroot ranks NotPetya, the ransomware that hit a month later, as the nastiest in this category of Windows malware for 2016-17.
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has been interviewed by many tech and other publications recently since his book, Hit Refresh, was published. Yet all have failed to ask him a single question about the biggest problem that Microsoft has caused for individual consumers and businesses alike: ransomware.
The container shipping company A.P. Moller–Maersk Group expects that a Windows ransomware attack it suffered in June will cost it between US$200 million and US$300 million.
While the WannaCry ransomware scare was a wake-up call for many, the Petya/NotPetya outbreak just a few weeks later quickly showed that many organisations are still asleep when it comes to protection against modern ransomware.
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