May 2017 was a feast-time for the cyber criminals all around the globe. They were successful in beating the defenses to incapacitate around 30,000 computers from 150+ countries in a span of three days. It was a mess.
June 2017 is no better.
Many countries around the globe witnessed aftershocks of the last month’s crisis, including several government organizations and colleges.
We have discussed the probability associated with the return of ‘May Madness’ in our previous blogs, and here it is. Low-scale and less threatening, but there.
Let’s go through what all happened last June!
June 13, 2017: New variants of malware threat Mac users; a warning is issued.
Two types of malware, specially created to target Apple computers, are found out to be lurking around to infect Macbooks around the globe. One is a smart ransomware with an ability to encrypt data and lock you out of your system until the demanded payment is met. The other is a spyware that spies into your searches and data, taking out all the sensitive information. Both of them are deemed to be dangerous.
June 14, 2017: Microsoft releases security patches for over 96 security vulnerabilities in the light of WannaCry attack last month.
Being a major scapegoat for cybercrimes, it seems that Microsoft is determined to improve by the clock. This is why it has been introducing new security patches to cover all the possible vulnerabilities that may cause a problem.
This time Microsoft has released security patches for a total of 96 vulnerabilities across all its products. These patches included fixes for two critical vulnerabilities that may have been a part of the ransomware attack last month.
The release also included emergency patches for unsupported versions of Windows.
June 15, 2017: The University College London (UCL) gets hit by a major ransomware attack.
Hackers aren’t sparing educational institutes as well. This is evident through the recent cyber attack on The University College of London (UCL) that caused a havoc amongst students, administrators and teachers alike. Many systems were infected and a malware similar to ransomware was detected. According to the official site, the antivirus systems detected no threat even after the system was infected, possibly due to the zero-day.
26 June 2017: Email systems at UK’s Parliament witnessed a cybercrime attempt.
The United Kingdom’s parliament went through a major shock last Monday with hackers attempting to access user accounts without proper authorization. Only a few were compromised though, all thanks to the super-strong security measures that parliament takes up to protect the important accounts and networks.
The government took prompt measures to fill any loopholes associated with accounts safety, include stronger passwords.
27 June 2017: Cyberattack paralyzes several thousand computer systems. Over half a dozen countries were affected.
June ending saw a major global cyber attack that could be compared with WannaCry ransomware attack of the last month. Many leading businesses were affected with Shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, Russia’s biggest oil company, many Ukrainian Banks, Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Mondelez (a company that owns snack brands like Oreos and Cadbury), Ukraine’s company Kyivenergo, India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), an Australian Cadbury chocolate factory, Russia’s Rosneft (ROSN.MM), and WPP (WPP.L) being the notable victims.
The computers running on MS Windows were infected with a hard to crack ransomware that continued encrypting and overwriting files until the ransom of $300 bitcoin was paid.
All in all, June 2017 was pretty eventful on the cybersecurity front. This is not the end, however.
Cybersecurity breaches are here to stay. Whether in a whole new avatar or by adopting old-school ways; they are going to come back again.
All we can do is to be prepared for the future!