PSA: S’pore Cyber Security Agency Says 11 Windows OS At Risk Of Getting New Ransomware

Cybersecurity is a big issue nowadays, especially when you consider how much we depend on our computers and the network for our day-to-day lives.

Add in the fact that while everyone knows how to use a computer, only a small part really knows how to protect ourselves on the internet.

Remember #WannaCrypt?

This deadly ransomware hit the world slightly more than two months ago. It encrypts your data and refuses to let you access it unless you pay the ransom.

Back then, the ransomware disrupted the entire health system in the UK and the telecommunication system in Spain.

It even reached Singapore.

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Image: Facebook (Singapore Cyber Security Enthusiasts)

Fortunately, a cyber security expert managed to stop the ransomware temporarily, helping to stop the spread of ransomware.

But like the same cyber security expert predicted, there will be a second wave of ransomware attacks.

And less than two months after #WannaCrypt, it appeared.

This time more dangerous than ever.

PetyaWrap Ransomware, Deadlier & Smarter

Image: theguardian.co.uk

On 27 June 2017, it was reported that several MNCs were targetted in another ransomware attack.

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Three MNCs, Maersk, a Danish shipping company, WPP, a British advertising giant and Saint-Gobain, a French industrial group were attacked.

Ukraine is one of the places most heavily hit by the attack, with over 80 companies affected. 

Inspired by WannaCrypt, the new ransomware is deadlier. Your entire hard disk gets locked up instead of just individual data files and applications.

How does the ransomware gain access to your network?

It was revealed that Petya typically spread via email spam with booby-trapped (Microsoft) Office documents. 

Your computer will get infected once you open up the files.

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The new ransomware infects in two ways: either through the EternalBlue vulnerability that was previously used by #WannaCrypt or through two Windows administrative tools.

Oh, but that’s not the best part. 

You might not be able to recover your system even after you paid

If your hard disk gets encrypted, don’t pay the $300 ransom because you’re not going to get your system online.

The hackers only provided one email for communication with people who have paid up, in order to receive the decryption key.

And the service provider has shut down the email account so you won’t be able to tell the hackers you’ve paid up, not to mention getting the key.

Singapore Cyber Security Agency List Down Vulnerable Windows Operating Systems

SingCERT has issued an advisory on dealing with ransomware attacks as well as the Windows OS that is at risk of getting it.

If you’re using the following Windows OS, you’re at risk of getting infected by PetyaWrap:

  • Windows 10, RT8.1, 8.1, 7, XP, Vista
  • Windows Server 2016, 2012 & 2012 R2, 2008 & 2008 R2

Make sure you keep your windows updated, have antivirus software with the latest malware definitions and back up your data regularly.

On a separate note, it’s said that if you create a Read-only file C:\Windows\perfc.dat, the ransomware will not run the encryption process on your computer. 

However, it will still infect other computers on the network.

Now here’s the good news after so many bad ones: so far, there has been no infection of the latest ransomware reported in Singapore. 

But still, stay safe, guys!

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Feature Image: theguardian.co.uk

This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

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Boon Hun

Boon Hun

Armed with paper and pen, or rather keyboard and the internet, he wants to change the world one word at a time. I guess you could call him a keyboard warrior, except he doesn't troll, honest!
Boon Hun