Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for May 13th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Health Service Journal) A large number of hospitals, GPs, and walk-in clinics across England have been locked down by a ransomware attack, reports suggest. There are also some reports of a ransomware attack hitting institutions in Portugal and Spain, though it isn’t known if the incidents are connected. NHS England says it is aware of the issue, but hasn’t yet issued an official statement. At this point it isn’t clear whether a central NHS network has been knocked offline by the ransomware, or whether individual computers connected to the network are being locked out. In any case, some hospitals and clinics are reporting that their computer systems are inaccessible and some telephone services are down too. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / A 2015 Ram 1500, one of the models affected by this recall. (credit: FCA) Dodgy software code controlling side airbags and safety belt pretensioners is responsible for a recall affecting more than a million Ram pickup trucks. On Friday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that it will be recalling Ram 1500 and 2500 trucks (model years 2013 to 2016) and Ram 3500 trucks (model years 2014 to 2016) beginning in June in order to rectify the problem. The software error, which could prevent side airbag deployment and belt pretensioning in cases where a vehicle rolls over following an underbody impact—say, hitting road debris or something when off-roading—has already been implicated in one death. Although the code has not been conclusively fingered as the culprit, FCA says it is issuing the recall proactively. A similar issue forced General Motors to recall more than 4 million vehicles in 2016. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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An anonymous reader writes: The Necurs botnet has been harnessed to fling a new strain of ransomware dubbed “Jaff”. Jaff spreads in a similar way to the infamous file-encrypting malware Locky and even uses the same payment site template, but is nonetheless a different monster. Attached to dangerous emails is an infectious PDF containing an embedded DOCM file with a malicious macro script. This script will then download and execute the Jaff ransomware. Locky — like Jaff — also used the Necurs botnet and a booby-trapped PDF, security firm Malwarebytes notes. “This is where the comparison ends, since the code base is different as well as the ransom itself, ” said Jerome Segura, a security researcher at Malwarebytes. “Jaff asks for an astounding 2 BTC, which is about $3, 700 at the time of writing.” Proofpoint reckons Jaff may be the work of the same cybercriminals behind Locky, Dridex and Bart (other nasty malware) but this remains unconfirmed. And Forcepoint Security Labs reports that malicious emails carrying Jaff are being cranked out at a rate of 5 million an hour on Thursday, or 13 million in total at the time it wrote up a blog post about the new threat. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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England’s healthcare system came under a withering cyberattack Friday morning, with ” at least 25 ” hospitals across the country falling prey to ransomware that locked doctors and employees out of critical systems and networks. The UK government now reports that this is not a (relatively) isolated attack but rather a single front in a massive regionwide digital assault. #nhscyberattack pic.twitter.com/SovgQejl3X — gigi.h (@fendifille) May 12, 2017 The attack has impacted hospitals and transportation infrastructure across Europe, Russia and Asia. Organizations in dozens of countries have all been hit with the same ransomware program, a variant of the WannaCry virus, spouting the same ransom note and demanding $300 for the encryption key, with the demand escalating as time passes. The virus’s infection vector appears to through a known vulnerability, originally exploited and developed by the National Security Agency. That information was subsequently leaked by the hacking group known as Shadow Broker which has been dumping its cache of purloined NSA hacking tools onto the internet since last year. The virus appears to have originally spread via email as compressed file attachment so, like last week’s Google Docs issue, make sure you confirm that you email’s attachments are legit before clicking on them. Also, make sure your computers are using software that’s still receiving security updates, and that you’ve installed the latest updates available. Microsoft released a fix for the exploit used as a part of its March “Patch Tuesday” release, but unpatched Windows systems remain vulnerable. Update : Reuters reports a statement from Microsoft indicating that engineers have added detection and protection against the “Ransom:Win32.WannaCrypt” malware, so make sure your Windows Defender or other antivirus is updated before logging on to any corporate networks that may be infected. In a statement, a FedEx representative confirmed its systems are being impacted, saying “Like many other companies, FedEx is experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware. We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible. We regret any inconvenience to our customers.” Source: New York Times

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Enlarge / Loki Patera, in the lower-center, has a central island that divides two waves of molten material. (credit: NASA/JPL/USGS ) Volcanic activity appears to be a common feature in our Solar System; we have evidence of it on three planets and two moons and hints of it elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean all volcanic activity is the same. Venus’ activity is driven by a simple version of plate tectonics. On the Moon, massive lava flows were released by large impacts, and Mars just seems to have vented heat left over from its formation. There are also hints of cryovolcanoes, which belch up ice rather than lava, on some of the bodies of the outer Solar System. But when it comes to sheer volume of activity, all of this takes a back seat to Jupiter’s moon Io. Io is partially molten due to gravitational stress from its proximity to three large moons and a massive planet. The results are active volcanoes and vast pools of molten material on the Moon’s surface. And we just got a good look inside the biggest of them. Slicing up Loki Loki Patera is the most powerful active volcano in the Solar System. It’s an enormous crater with a central island; around that island is a sea of hot material that covers more than 20,000 square kilometers. By all appearances, that hot material isn’t stable, since the entire surface seems to be reworked every few years, temporarily replaced by new hot material. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Microsoft) SEATTLE—When Microsoft first introduced the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) at last year’s Build developer conference , it said that it was doing so to make developers who were familiar with the Linux command line feel comfortable on Windows . The immediate and inevitable question was “Well, what about Windows Server?” Development is one thing, but what if organizations wanted to occasionally deploy their Linux software on Windows? Although Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 share many components, the Server operating system hasn’t thus far included WSL, consistent with the “developer only” rationale. But that’s going to change: at Build this week, Microsoft announced that WSL will be included in Server later this year. Microsoft still isn’t positioning this as a way of running Linux server in production on Windows; rather, the company says the addition will be useful for administrative tasks. With WSL, Windows can run scripts written for Linux. But we’re hard-pressed to see things stopping there; it seems inevitable that at some point, Windows will offer the ability to run Linux server software as one of its features. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Ransomware may be mostly thought of as a (sometimes costly) nuisance, but when it hinders the ability of doctors and nurses to help people with an emergency medical problems, that qualifies as armed robbery. Read more…

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A global cybersecurity attack involving WannaCry ransomware crippled Microsoft Windows computers across the globe today. Here are 10 facts to know. The post Biggest Global Cyber Attack Ever? 10 WannaCry Ransomware Facts appeared first on ChannelE2E .

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Enlarge (credit: Health Service Journal) A day after a ransomware worm infected 75,000 machines in 100 countries, Microsoft is taking the highly unusual step of issuing patches that immunize Windows XP, 8, and Server 2003, operating systems the company stopped supporting as many as three years ago. The company also rolled out a signature that allows its Windows Defender antivirus engine to provide “defese-in-depth” protection. The moves came after attackers on Friday used a recently leaked attack tool developed by the National Security Agency to virally spread ransomware known as WCry . Within hours, computer systems around the world were crippled, prompting hospitals to turn away patients and telecoms, banks and companies such as FedEx to turn off computers for the weekend. The chaos surprised many security watchers because Microsoft issued an update in March that patched the underlying vulnerability in Windows 7 and most other supported versions of Windows. (Windows 10 was never vulnerable.) Friday’s events made it clear that enough unpatched systems exist to cause significant outbreaks that could happen again in the coming days or months. In a blog post published late Friday night , Microsoft officials wrote: Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Google Found Over 1,000 Bugs In 47 Open Source Projects

Posted by kenmay on May - 13 - 2017

Orome1 writes: In the last five months, Google’s OSS-Fuzz program has unearthed over 1, 000 bugs in 47 open source software projects… So far, OSS-Fuzz has found a total of 264 potential security vulnerabilities: 7 in Wireshark, 33 in LibreOffice, 8 in SQLite 3, 17 in FFmpeg — and the list goes on… Google launched the program in December and wants more open source projects to participate, so they’re offering cash rewards for including “fuzz” targets for testing in their software. “Eligible projects will receive $1, 000 for initial integration, and up to $20, 000 for ideal integration” — or twice that amount, if the proceeds are donated to a charity. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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