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Cyber attack alert: Download security patch

  • Cyber attack alert: Download security patch – PSNI issue warning as Monday cyber attack fears grow across UK

    BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

    Police in Northern Ireland are working closely with government and tech agencies amid fresh warnings that the cyber attack that crippled international services are set to continue. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/cyber-attack-alert-download-security-patch-psni-issue-warning-as-monday-cyber-attack-fears-grow-across-uk-35713000.html

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/article35712644.ece/1faa8/AUTOCROP/h342/PANews%20BT_P-16bfdd3f-944c-4640-a6da-9b368278ce18_I1.jpg

  • Email1

Police in Northern Ireland are working closely with government and tech agencies amid fresh warnings that the cyber attack that crippled international services are set to continue. Europol has warned that the threat “will continue to grow” as people return to work on Monday . Since Friday’s breach more than 200,000 victims – including the NHS – across 150 countries have been infected by the Wanna Decryptor ransomware, also known as WannaCry.

The PSNI has said it has been liaising with relevant agencies “to ensure that here in Northern Ireland we are adequately briefed and prepared for the possibility of any potential similar incident.”

Detective Chief Inspector Douglas Grant said: “Since this attack occurred on Friday afternoon we have been working with representatives from the national government, National Crime Agency, National Cyber Security Centre and cyber security experts to put in place mechanisms to mitigate the risk to systems in Northern Ireland.

“As people return to work tomorrow after the weekend, many will have unopened, potentially infected emails in their inboxes, or their systems may already be infected and are waiting to activate . It is of the utmost importance that individuals and organisations act to ensure the integrity of our local cyber networks and take appropriate action to reduce the threat posed by cyber criminals.”

Read More: Five key questions about the NHS cyber hack answered 2

“While there is currently no suggestion that systems within Northern Ireland have been targeted, we remain conscious that we must act to ensure the integrity of cyber networks and take appropriate action to reduce the threat posed by cyber criminals.

“Do not open emails from unknown sources or containing suspicious links or attachments . Ensure that all computers on your network are fully updated with the latest ‘patches’ . A patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it . This includes fixing security vulnerabilities.”

Speaking to ITV’s Peston on Sunday, Europol director Rob Wainwright said the attack was indiscriminate across the private and public sectors.

“At the moment we are in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up, I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning.

“The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries . Many of those will be businesses including large corporations.”

Organisations across the globe, including investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA), are now working non-stop to hunt down those responsible for the ransomware.

Meanwhile health authorities are racing to upgrade security software amid fears hackers could exploit the same vulnerability with a new virus. There have been calls for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Friday’s major incident, with the Government and NHS chiefs facing questions over their preparedness and the robustness of vital systems. Mr Wainwright explained: “We have been concerned for some time . The healthcare centres in many countries are particularly vulnerable . They are processing a lot of sensitive data.”

A British cyber whiz was hailed an “accidental hero” after he registered a domain name that unexpectedly stopped the spread of the virus, which exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software.

The anonymous specialist, known only as MalwareTech, prevented more than 100,000 computers across the globe from being infected. On Sunday MalwareTech issued a warning that hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the kill switch.

“Version 1 of WannaCrypt was stoppable but version 2.0 will likely remove the flaw . You’re only safe if you patch ASAP,” he wrote on Twitter.

A number of hospitals in England and Scotland were forced to cancel procedures after dozens of NHS systems were brought down in Friday’s attack. Medical staff reported seeing computers go down “one by one” as the attack took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data. Around a fifth of trusts were hit amid concerns networks were left vulnerable because they were still using outdated Windows XP software.

The apparent chink in the NHS’s defences led to criticism of the Government and NHS bosses, with the Liberal Democrats demanding an inquiry takes place. Speaking after a Cobra meeting on Saturday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted “there’s always more” that can be done to protect against viruses. She said: “If you look at who’s been impacted by this virus, it’s a huge variety across different industries and across international governments.

“This is a virus that attacked Windows platforms .

The fact is the NHS has fallen victim to this.

“I don’t think it’s to do with that preparedness . There’s always more we can all do to make sure we’re secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack.”

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, in a letter to Mr Hunt, said concerns were repeatedly flagged about outdated computer systems. Speaking to Robert Peston, he demanded that the Conservatives publish the Department of Health’s risk register to see how seriously they were taking IT threats.

Among those affected by the virus was Nissan UK, but the car manufacturer said there had been no major impact.

It is understood its plant in Sunderland is not due to have another production shift until Sunday night.

References

  1. ^ Email (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ Five key questions about the NHS cyber hack answered (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk)

Cyber attack: 100000 organisations hit in 150 countries as experts fear virus escalation

  1. ITV Report
  2. 14 May 2017 at 5:42am

Experts warn another attack could come as soon as Monday Credit: PA

International efforts are under way to track down the perpetrators behind a cyber attack which threw the NHS into chaos and affected businesses across the world. Europol, the EU’s police agency, revealed on Sunday that 100,000 organisations across at least 150 countries were targeted, and there are fears that many more people may be hit by the virus on Monday when they return to work. Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, Europol director Rob Wainwright warned that “all sectors” were vulnerable to attack1 and urged organisations to ensure they updated their systems.

At this time the identity of the attackers who deployed the ransomware bug remains unknown. But Europol said its cybercrime specialists had begun a “complex international investigation” to identify the culprits. And Oliver Gower from the National Crime Agency, said: “Cyber criminals may believe they are anonymous but we will use all the tools at our disposal to bring them to justice.”

Forty-five NHS division were affected by the attack Credit: PA

Europol said the current challenge was the fast-spreading capabilities of the malware, which locks up data and demands a payment for it to be released.

However, it appears that few have paid the ransom the software demands. Meanwhile a British cyber security researcher known online as MalwareTech has warned that another attack could come as soon as Monday. He was hailed an “accidental hero” after helping prevent the virus from spreading further when he and another researcher stumbled upon a “kill switch”2 in the malware code.

The 22-year-old said: “We have stopped this one, but there will be another one coming and it will not be stoppable by us.

“There’s a lot of money in this . There’s no reason for them to stop . It’s not really much effort for them to change the code and then start over. The NHS systems are believed to have been hit by a ransomware cyber attack using malware called “Wanna Decryptor”.

Version 1 of WannaCrypt was stoppable but version 2.0 will likely remove the flaw . You’re only safe if you patch ASAP.

The attack that began on Friday is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, disrupting computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems. Forty-five NHS division were affected by the attack . Operations and appointments were cancelled for patients across the country as 48 trusts in England and 13 health boards in Scotland were attacked by the ransomware. Medical staff reported seeing computers go down “one by one” as the attack took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data.

An attack on NHS computer systems was ‘always going to happen’ a security expert has said Credit: PA

There have been calls for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Friday’s major incident, with the government and NHS chiefs facing questions over their preparedness and the robustness of vital systems. On Saturday a former head of the body managing the NHS’ cyber security system said an online attack on the health service was “always going to happen”. He said although the government has invested in protecting against a cyber attack, it can be “difficult” to ensure trusts spend money on cyber security.

The Home Secretary said patient data does not appear to have been accessed . Credit: ITV News

Speaking after a Cobra meeting on Saturday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted “there’s always more” that can be done to protect against cyber attacks. But she stressed that attack had affected organisations in scores of countries.

“If you look at who’s been impacted by this virus, it’s a huge variety across different industries and across international governments . This is a virus that attacked Windows platforms . The fact is the NHS has fallen victim to this,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s to do with that preparedness . There’s always more we can all do to make sure we’re secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack.”

More than 70 countries are thought to have been affected by the ransomware bug Credit: Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/PA Images

NHS Digital, which manages the health service cyber security, said fewer than 5 percent of devices within the health service still use the old Windows XP system.

Nissan UK confirmed it was affected3, but said there had been “no major impact”. It is understood its plant in Sunderland is not due to have another production shift until Sunday night. A spokesman said: “Like many organisations around the world, some Nissan entities were recently targeted by a ransomware attack.

“Our teams are responding accordingly and there has been no major impact on our business .

We are continuing to monitor the situation.”

Last updated Sun 14 May 2017

References

  1. ^ “all sectors” were vulnerable to attack (www.itv.com)
  2. ^ stumbled upon a “kill switch” (www.itv.com)
  3. ^ Nissan UK confirmed it was affected (www.itv.com)

Parliament security chiefs working with cops on training programme for MSPs and staff on handling suspicious packages

HOLYROOD SECURITY TRAINING

MP, political party HQ and council building as well as two police bases were targeted within a matter of hours last month

HOLYROOD security chiefs are working with cops on a training programme on suspicious packages for MSPs after a spate of recent scares. An MP, political party HQ and council building as well as two police bases were targeted within a matter of hours last month with suspect packages in the mail.

Parliament Security Chiefs Working With Cops On Training Programme For MSPs And Staff On Handling Suspicious Packages

News Group Newspapers Ltd

Police stationed outside Scottish Parliament

MSPs were put on alert1 after three items were delivered to SNP MP John Nicolson s office, a party base and an Angus Council building in 24 hours. Security officials at the Scottish Parliament sent advice to elected members after one of the packages was sent to the constituency office of Nicolson2 on Tuesday, May 25.

Now they are working with police to develop special training for MSPs and their staff on mail handling and suspicious packages.

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A Holyrood spokesman told the Scottish Sun: Parliament security staff are currently working with Police Scotland to develop a training package on mail handling and suspicious packages. Two days after the incident at Nicolson s office, cops revealed officers were scrambled to the Scottish Police Federation building in Glasgow and to the Scottish Police College, Tulliallan, Fife after packages were delivered there. Two packages containing white powder were also delivered to an Angus Council building in Forfar.

The Municipal Buildings on Castle Street were closed off despite police saying the package poses no immediate threat to the public.

Parliament Security Chiefs Working With Cops On Training Programme For MSPs And Staff On Handling Suspicious Packages

News Group Newspapers Ltd

Police car outside Holyrood

The contents of the package were described as white powder type substances and are related to the upcoming snap election in June. Cops have launched a major probe into the incidents. An email from Holyrood head of security Becky Thomson was circulated around MSPs with advice from cops.

In the email, she said: Dear Members, between Tuesday and Wednesday, three suspicious mail packages containing a white powder type substance were sent to an elected official, a political party headquarters and a council building.

All packages were associated with the forthcoming UK general election . Police Scotland s enquiries into this matter are ongoing.

We enclose a letter from Police Scotland with some further advice regarding mail handling, suspicious packages and indicators of white powder .

We would be grateful if you would take the time to review this information and discuss with your local office staff . The same information has been issued to all elected representatives across Scotland.


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References

  1. ^ put on alert (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  2. ^ Nicolson (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  3. ^