Hackers exploiting malicious software stolen from the National Security Agency initiated damaging cyberattacks on a worldwide scale this past Friday (5/12/17).
The attacks appeared to be the largest ransomware assault on record, but the scope of the damage is yet to be completely understood. Clearly its bad as the attacks left many hospitals and various companies and agencies with encrypted files and only one way to unencrypt them - pay a ransom.
The attacks amounted to an audacious global blackmail attempt spread by the internet and underscored the vulnerabilities of the digital age.
Cyber security experts reported that the ransomware was being quickly spread by a wave of “phishing” emails carrying bogus attachments that infected computers when unsuspecting users clicked on them.
The scam emails lured victims into opening infected files posing as invoices, job offers, or even clinical test results.
EDM Automation clients were protected as Microsoft security patches were deployed automatically through our installed monitoring agents, vulnerable ports were closed and our security suite was already on it well before the assault really began.
We were able to tell CIO's, IT managers, owners and all managers which computers were vulnerable from a report of our support portal and additionally force an update to any still vulnerable computers, laptops or devices.
The irony of it all is that there was a project called "Eternal Blue" which is a hacking weapon developed by our own NSA (National Security organization) to gain access to computers used by terrorists and enemy states that was stolen and that technology will likely usher in a new wave of cyber attacks.
We suggest that you have good back-ups both onsite and offsite, update Windows often, make sure to have security software installed and that you learn how to identify malicious email threats that appear to be harmless.
If you need expert help and automation, please call us at EDM Automation. We have business-class security tools that anyone can afford and enterprise management tools for larger organizations.
Lee Nelson Senior Solutions Architect