Cyber attack on 99 countries including UK. NHS badly affected.

  • A massive cyber-attack using tools believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency has struck organisations around the world.


    Computers in thousands of locations have been locked by a programme that demands $300 (£230) in Bitcoin.


    In April hackers known as The Shadow Brokers claimed to have stolen the tools and released them online.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39901382
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    As far as I know my area isn't affected by this, which is just as well....


    Who could be responsible? The technology originally came from the NSA, but is this just a back room outfit of hackers, or this a serious attempt by a country to do damage to the current world order.


    It shows in the modern age, how fragile how infrastructure has become as everything is now dependent on computers from control of traffic lights to pumping water into our homes. I fear this hacking into infrastructure could become the norm, hope I'm wrong.

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  • It's been called hacking but it's really the BOFH problem. People who click on unsafe email attachments should be sacked on the spot as this is how this vulnerability is spread. Some people are blaming the continued use of XP by the NHS but it's not the OS that's at fault here although it is vulnerable.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • One has to wonder at the sheer inefficiency of whoever maintains the computer systems affected. I believe Windows offered free upgrades so for the sake of a while offline it could easily have been done.


    Although having said that, I'm on Windows 10 and was hit by a ransomware demand a while ago. It completely locked the desktop. However, fortunately we also have iPads and so were able to look on Google to find the solution and restore the comp. I also have McAfee and that ( he said tempting fate.) was the only problem we've had.

  • It's been called hacking but it's really the BOFH problem. People who click on unsafe email attachments should be sacked on the spot as this is how this vulnerability is spread. Some people are blaming the continued use of XP by the NHS but it's not the OS that's at fault here although it is vulnerable.


    I had some emails yesterday and it looked like they were returned emails sent back from VM's email server. They had a attachment to them that said to click them. I was within one second of doing so...


    I know not to click attachments when I don't know what they are, or are not expecting them, but this almost got me.

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  • One has to wonder at the sheer inefficiency of whoever maintains the computer systems affected. I believe Windows offered free upgrades so for the sake of a while offline it could easily have been done.


    Although having said that, I'm on Windows 10 and was hit by a ransomware demand a while ago. It completely locked the desktop. However, fortunately we also have iPads and so were able to look on Google to find the solution and restore the comp. I also have McAfee and that ( he said tempting fate.) was the only problem we've had.


    That sounds awful Morgan, I wouldn't know what to do if my computer locked up. (probably throw it out of the window)

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  • Free upgrade was only for W7 and later. I declined it on the laptop because the OS has not had most of the bugs sorted. Apart from the NHS there are many XP systems out there. Last figure I saw was about 10% and that excludes the embedded version. You'll find this on gaming machines, quiz machines and public screens like those at airports.


    My main machine is XP SP2 and has never had any patches applied. Touch wood, has been clean ever since the original install but then I'm careful, run a decent anti-virus, and an external firewall.


    By all accounts it seems the Russians have been hit hardest though China also reports systems taken down, interestingly the warning message was actually in Chinese so the worm has been carefully designed.

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  • I have XP on another PC in my house that is rarely used now, but my main machine uses win7. I did upgrade it to wn10 which was a disaster, so I reinstalled win7 back again. WIll never go to win10,


    I liked XP, I could rearrange my start menu exactly as I wanted it. I find doing the basics on computers/browsers/word processing programs etc more difficult with each "upgrade" and I try and avoid the upgrades if I can now.


    Yes, with Russia and China also affected, it looks like some private outfit of hackers rather than a state sponsored one. Wouldn't like to be in their shoes, when America, Russia, China etc find out who they are.

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  • It's more likely to be some spotty, bored teenager in his bedroom who want's to make "free" money. It's going to be pretty hot when they get to him.


    I agree about upgrades, it's taken me some time to get XP exactly how I like it which includes a number of registry hacks. I had to put classic shell on the W7 lappy and seriously hack the registry. Still prefer XP.

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  • My brother got the Ransom virus a few weeks ago, It was a different version, this is new one. My sister-in-law clicked on something in an email that had pretended to come from the tax office. Their entire PC was locked and I had to wipe it for them and they had to start again and lost everything on it. It's virtually impossible tor remove if you've downloaded any .exe files. The techie told us to format the thing. Their operating system was XP.

  • It does emphasise the importance of backup copies of your important data. I use 1T USB drives, they also double up as media sources for our smart TV. I keep my important data in a separate \usr structure on the PC. It's the same on any machine irrespective of the OS. A recursive copy of the structure is a single command.


    Even on what looks like a kosher email I would hover the mouse on the link and see where it's likely to take you. Some of the phishing ones are quite ingenious in that the false site, often with a very similar name to the correct one, acts as a conduit to the correct site but harvests your data as you enter it. Much like an Evil Twin

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  • Patients have been urged to use the NHS "wisely" as it discovers the full impact of Friday's global cyber-attack.


    NHS England said there was a "complex emerging picture", amid concerns over thousands of computers being switched back on after the weekend.


    Seven trusts out of 47 that were hit are still facing serious issues, but patients have been told to turn up for appointments, unless advised otherwise.


    Some GPs are asking people to consider whether they really need appointments.


    The virus that hit the NHS in England and Scotland, known as Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry, has infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39918426
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    I know for a fact that this BBC item is inaccurate and the problem is far worse that being described.


    Today, "it'll come out in the wash" so to speak.

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