The ransomware that never was

Last Tuesday, a malware, initially suspected to be the Petya ransowmare, spread across thousands of computers, mostly in Ukraine. At first, the episode was thought to be the sequel to the WannaCry ransomware outbreak that infected hundreds of thousands of computers across the world in May.

But as the story unfolded and the details emerged, it became evident that this attack was something more, perhaps a cyberattack of political nature hidden behind the guise of a ransomware. The malware eventually acquired other names, including NotPetya, PetyaWrap and ExPetr.

Here’s what we know—so far—about the NotPetya “ransomware” attack that has been making the headlines of late. Continue reading

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What Mikko Hypponen teaches us about IoT security

Yes, this is going to be another rant about the state of insecurity in the Internet of Things industry. But a good one.

Every once in awhile, I hear someone explain this most critical issue, which has been at the heart of so many security incidents in the past year, in a new, inspiring way. And I feel compelled to unpack and explain it for those who might have missed the important parts.

I had one of those moments of epiphany in this year’s TNW Conference, when Mikko Hypponen, the acclaimed cybersecurity expert from Finnish vendor F-Secure, delivered a speech titled “The Internet of Insecure Things.”

In the speech, Hypponen brushed upon some very interesting topics, including ransomware and IoT security. But there’s only so much you can pack into a 20-minute speech. Here are the key takeaways about IoT security. Continue reading

Zeltser: How to meet future cybersecurity challenges

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Cybersecurity is one of the most fluid and changing fields of the tech industry. Every year, new threats and challenges emerge, outpacing past records and expectations. In this respect 2016 was no different. But as online services become more and more prominent and critical to our daily lives and businesses, being able to respond to threats before they deal their damage becomes more critical.

Case in point: The October 21 DDoS attack against Dyn cut millions of users from popular services such as Twitter and Netflix. That is something that most people can shrug off. But what happens when our cars, homes, hospitals and power grids depend on the correct functionality of our digital and online systems?

Cybersecurity expert Lenny Zeltser believes that new approaches to fighting malware can give a leg up in fighting cyberattacks and help organizations stay ahead of cybercriminals. Continue reading

The IoT ransomware threat is more serious than you think

Image: Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai/Vice Motherboard

At the recent Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, two researchers from cybersecurity firm Pen Test Partners showed that they could inflict your smart thermostat with ransomware from hundreds of miles away, and force you to fork over cash (usually bitcoins) before you could regain control of the appliance. Continue reading

The beginner’s guide to ransomware

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Ransomware is nothing new, but has made the headlines quite a few times since last year, as it has become a mounting threat and is dealing damage to individuals and companies alike. If you’ve heard of the scary stories of computer viruses locking out files and extorting money out of users without leaving a trace, then you already know what ransomware is.

Whether you’re afraid of being the next victim of ransomware or not, it pays to know more about how it works, where it comes from, and some basic measures that can help you protect yourself against it. Continue reading