ransomware

Wed
25
Mar
John Lister's picture

Critical Security Flaw Hits Windows 7 and 8 Hardest

Microsoft has warned users of a significant unpatched security flaw in Windows. It's offered some key steps to take while the problem is being fixed. The problem affects all currently supported versions of Windows, though Windows 7 and 8 machines ... are affected 'critically' according to the Microsoft advisory bulletin. Attacks on Windows 10 machines are considerably more constrained due to its enhanced security features. Microsoft says its currently only aware of targeted attacks on Windows 7 machines, though that could change now the bug has been made public. (Source: microsoft.com ) Adobe ... (view more)

Thu
12
Mar
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New Ransomware Exploits Excel Format

A new ransomware variant takes advantage of a Microsoft Excel feature. It's a good reminder to keep security software up-to-date. The variant has been reported by security company Lastline. It involves a known ransomware called Paradise that ... operates in the familiar fashion: the attackers find a way to get remote access to a computer then encrypt files and demand a fee to restore access - sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars, or much higher. In this case, the attackers try to trick victims into opening a file attachment that creates the opening for accessing the machine. The ... (view more)

Mon
24
Feb
John Lister's picture

Gas Pipeline Shut Down After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware forced an unplanned shutdown of a US gas pipeline for two days. It's not yet clear if the attackers intended to have that effect. The full details, including the identity of the pipeline and its operators, have been kept under wraps. The ... only official information that's been made public comes from a security alert bulletin by the Department of Homeland Security (DoHS). (Source: us-cert.gov ) The attack started as an all-too-familiar "spear phishing" attack. That's a deliberately targeted email that tries to fool somebody (that typically works for a corporation) into clicking on a ... (view more)

Tue
28
Jan
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State Could Ban Gov't Ransomware Payments

New York state senators want a legal ban on local governments paying ransomware demands. The bipartisanship move is based on the idea that paying up simply incentivises the attacks. Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts files on a hard ... drive so that they become unusable. Cyber criminals then demand a hefty ransom to unlock the files. Two state senators, one Democrat and one Republican, have each proposed broadly similar bills. They are currently in the committee stage and its likely that one will go ahead to a full vote of the New York State Senate. Both bills are based on similar ... (view more)

Thu
23
Jan
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Experts: Windows Feature Can Be Used as Ransomware

Ransomware attackers could turn a key Windows security tool against the system, according to new research. The tactic could also evade leading security tools. The research from SafeBreach Labs covered "EFS", otherwise known as Encrypting File ... System. EFS was released as far back as Windows 2000 (in the year 2000), and is somewhat similar to Bitlocker. The main difference between the two is that Bitlocker can encrypt an entire volume, while EFS can encrypt individual files and folders. In either case, the reason for encrypting files / folders or an entire volume is that if an ... (view more)

Wed
08
Jan
John Lister's picture

New Clop Ransomware Encrypts Windows Processes

Researchers have spotted new ransomware with a nasty new twist. "Clop," as it's called, doesn't just encrypt files, but deliberately attempts to screw up applications as well. The move is most likely intended to reduce the chances of the ransomware ... being blocked, but also means an attack could be even more disruptive and make it more likely a complete rebuild of the affected PC is necessary. Normally ransomware's main task is to encrypt as many files as possible on a computer. The idea here is to extort the user by forcing them to pay a ransom to regain access to the locked files. ... (view more)

Tue
10
Dec
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FBI Warns: Smart TVs a Major Security Threat

The FBI has warned users to think carefully when buying and using "smart" televisions. The warning is based on the idea that many people have bought or will buy new televisions either as part of "Black Friday" or in time for Christmas. The warning ... from the FBI's Portland office is based partly on the prospect that people might not have set out to buy smart sets, but that most or all of the TVs on offer currently have such features. (Source: techcrunch.com ) Cameras and Microphones on Some Sets A "smart" television is simply one that has an Internet connection. Previously that's mainly been ... (view more)

Thu
21
Nov
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'Windows Update' by Email is Actually Ransomware

A bogus "Windows Update" distributed by email is, perhaps unsurprisingly, actually ransomware. It shouldn't fool most users but makes it a good time to remind less tech-savvy PC owners of the need to take necessary precautions. The unsolicited ... emails have a subject line of either "Critical Microsoft Windows Update!" or "Install Latest Microsoft Windows Update now!" Those who open the email will then see a message that says (complete with opening typo) "PLease install the latest critical update from Microsoft attached to this email." (Source: trustwave.com ) $500 Ransom Demand It seems a safe ... (view more)

Wed
23
Oct
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Unveils New 'Secured-core' PC Protection

Microsoft is working with PC makers to tackle malware that strikes before Windows is loaded into memory. It's adapting a technology currently used for the Xbox games console. The "Secured-core" initiative is designed to overcome a big limitation ... with most Windows security tools: they only work once Windows is already running. That doesn't tackle malware that targets the computer's firmware. This is software, usually called BIOS or UEFI, than runs immediately when a PC is switched on. Its main role is to check all the hardware is in place and connected, then load up the operating system such ... (view more)

Thu
27
Jun
John Lister's picture

Florida Gov't Ransomware Tops $1 Million Payout

Officials in Lake City, Florida have voted to pay half a million dollars to hackers to regain access to computer files. It's the second such payment by a local government in the state in as many weeks. Lake City's government computer system was hit ... by a ransomware attack in which hackers remotely encrypt files and then demand payment to unlock them. They asked for 42 units of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, worth roughly $500,000. That payment method makes it much harder to trace the recipients. The good news in this case is that public safety networks are unaffected and that all ... (view more)

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