The Standard Journal
Ransomware infects nearly 70 percent of surveillance cameras in Washington, D.C.
Just days before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, cyber criminals infected 70 percent of storage devices that record data from surveillance cameras in Washington, D.C. with a Ransomware attack.
This time the hackers managed to plant ransomware in 123 of its 187 network video recorders, each controlling up to four CCTVs used in public spaces throughout Washington, D.C, which eventually left them out from recording anything between 12 and 15 January.
Officials stated that the incident forced them to take the storage devices offline, remove the infection and rebooted the systems across the city, but did not fulfill any ransom demands by the hackers.
Washington’s chief technology officer Archana Vemulapalli said the officials are now investigating the source of hacking, assuring that the incident was limited to the storage devices tied to closed-circuit TV system and did not affect other D.C. government networks.
Rise in ransomware: Both in numbers and sophistication
Recently, hundreds of guests of a luxurious hotel in Austria were locked out when ransomware malware hit the hotel’s IT system, and the hotel paid the attackers to get back the control of their systems.
Ransomware completely shuts down Ohio town
In another example of what happens when you don’t manage your backups correctly, the Licking County government offices, including the police force, have been shut down by ransomware. Although details are sparse, it’s clear that someone in the office caught a bug in a phishing scam or by downloading it and now their servers are locked up.
All county offices remain open, but online access and landline telephones are not available for those on the county system. The shutdown is expected to continue at least the rest of the week.
These sorts of attacks are becoming more commonplace and, as mentioned before, can be avoided with good backup practices. Sadly not every computer in every hospital, county office or police department is connected to a nicely provisioned and spacious hard drive, so these things will happen more and more. One side effect is that it improves Bitcoin popularity.
The only safe way of dealing with ransomware is prevention. The best defense against Ransomware malware is to create awareness within the organizations, as well as to maintain back-ups. Most viruses and infections are introduced by opening infected attachments or clicking on malicious links usually served in spam emails. Never click on links provided in emails and attachments from unknown sources.
Ransomware completely shuts down Ohio town government
In another interesting example of what happens when you don’t manage your backups correctly, the Licking County government offices, including the police force, have been shut down by ransomware. Although details are sparse, it’s clear that someone in the office caught a bug in a phishing scam or by downloading it and now their servers are locked up.
Blue light toned down at night
One tweak for Windows 10 as a whole is a new option for blue light reduction. If selected, the option will automatically reduce the blue levels at nighttime, something medical research suggests will make it easier to get to sleep soon after using a PC. The hours the feature operates will adjust automatically to fit sunrise and sunset levels in the user’s location.
CES 2017 brings smart hairbrush, listening fridge
It’s the week of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and this year smart home gadgets seem to be attracting attention - rather than the latest TV technology. Everything from fridges to hairbrushes is getting some form of upgrade from gadget makers.
IRS: Scam blends CEO fraud, W-2 phishing
E- mail scams in which the attacker spoofs the boss and tricks an employee at the organization into wiring funds to the fraudster. Crooks impersonate the boss and request a copy of all employee tax forms.
According to a new “urgent alert” issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, scammers are now combining both schemes and targeting a far broader range of organizations than ever before.
Shopping for W2s, tax data on the dark web
The 2016 tax season is now in full swing in the United States, which means scammers are once again assembling vast dossiers of personal data and preparing to file fraudulent tax refund requests on behalf of millions of Americans. But for those lazy identity thieves who can’t be bothered to phish or steal the needed data, there is now another option: Buying stolen W-2 tax forms from other crooks who have phished the documents wholesale from corporations.
Each W-2 record costs the Bitcoin equivalent of between $4 and $20.
W-2 records for employees with higher-than-average wages in the 2016 tax year cost more, ostensibly because thieves stand to reap a higher tax refund from those W-2’s if they successfully trick the Internal Revenue Service and/or the states into approving a fraudulent refund in the victim’s name.
ATM ‘Shimmers’ target chip-based cards
Several readers have called attention to warnings coming out of Canada about a supposedly new form of card skimming called “shimming” that targets chipbased credit and debit cards.
Shimming attacks are not new but they are likely to become more common as a greater number of banks in the United States shift to issuing chip-based cards.