WannaCry: more details about the ransomware attack

Meanwhile, the major attack of WannaCry aka WanaDecrypt0r 2.0 has been stopped. As I noted in my previous post, some  stop switch was found by accident when an expert noticed that a special domain gets addressed from WannaCry. As the domain was available, he registered it hoping to collect more information and data sent out from the ransomware.


Image from malwaretech.com

After the domain was online, the automatic spreading of WannaCry stopped. However, this does not affect already infected systems. Also there are rumors that some Antivirus Programs currently block access to that domain because of unsuspicious data. This would mean in fact that those programs would allow WannaCry to spread more and more.

“EternalBlue”-issue known by NSA for years

The security issue used by WannaCry is called EternalBlue and was part of a leak of NSA documents, spread by The Shadow Brokers in April this year. If they would have noticed Microsoft for that issue, we would not have those massive problems today.

Due to the seriousness of the attack, Microsoft released a patch even for older Windows Versions that are usually not supported anymore.

 

Massive Cyberattack hits UK Health System, Deutsche Bahn

A massive Cyberattack that seems to have source in Russia currently spreads the world. After first analysis by Kaspersky and Avast they think it’s a new version of the crypt locker WannaCry. The software requires a payment of 300$ in bitcoins to release the encryption key, and blackmails the owners that the key would be deleted in few days if not being payed.

Following the latest updates, the ransomware meanwhile successfully attacked more than 75.000 PCs in 100 countries worldwide. Analysing the ransoware, a way to stop spreading seems to be found. According to some press, a security expert noticed a domain being accessed from the ransomware and registered this. After activating that domain the ransomware stopped spreading. Seems some routine stops its work when the domain could be contaced.

In general, this new attack was made possible after some NSA documents were leaked. NSA knew about this security issue for several times, but did not inform the software vendor, keeping millions of PCs unsafe. After the documents were leached, the vendor released a patch for this issue very shortly, which is available since March. Following current situtation, several PCs have yet not installed that update.

Before you now say “user’s fault – why dont install the update?” keep in mind that according to current information big companies or public organisations are affected. Following the usual “update-mess” of some vendors (fix one issue but create two others at the same time) it is absolutely normal for todays administrators NOT to install a patch as soon as it’s available.