Cybersecurity Blog: The Cyber Scene is evolving, are you?

WannaCry (or WannaCrypt, WanaCrypt0r 2.0, Wanna Decryptor) is a ransomware targeting Microsoft Windows operating system. On Friday May 12, 2017 a widespread attack using this ransomware was launched affecting IT organizations worldwide. The ransomware encrypts files changing the extensions to: .wnry, .wcry, .wncry and .wncrypt.  The malware then presents a window to the user with a ransom demand.

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The remark “never a dull moment” is rarely an expression used to indicate joy.  Instead, it’s a semi-sarcastic way of lamenting unwelcome excitement.  While no one wants to have a boring job, spending one’s time fighting ransomware outbreaks that disrupt business operations and put one’s job at risk are not the kinds of exhilarating challenges that most Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) pine for.  The recent WannaCry outbreak has all the hallmarks of this unwelcome excitement.  The ransomware infects computers by exploiting a vulnerability that Microsoft patched two months ago.  It propagates through a network port that every enterprise should be locking down.  It exhibits malicious behavior that should be relatively easy to detect and mitigate.  By some accounts, it was arguably a poorly executed attack that did a mediocre job of accomplishing what appears to be its most important objective - extracting money from its victims. 

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Since January of this year, ransomware has emerged as a popular attack impacting large corporations, small businesses, schools, hospitals and home users. This malicious type of crimeware encrypts, locks, or obfuscates digital files, then demands a ransom to return the files. An ill-prepared user or organization can experience catastrophic damage if the data encrypted includes months of work or critical business information. Far worse is when the data encrypted includes financial, legal, or medical records for which retention is required by law. In some cases, these users have no choice but to pay the ransom and hope for the best. Some who pay have their files returned, while others are not as lucky.

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Misspelled word thwarts cyber-heist but not before $81 million is syphoned from Bangladesh Central Bank

This past February, hackers were able to steal $81 million from the systems of the Bangladesh Central Bank. Funds were moved from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to private accounts in the Philippines via wire transfers using the SWIFT payment network. Although this registered as one of the largest cyber heists in history, the damage could have been upwards of $1 billion if not for the attacker’s misspelled word in one of the fraudulent requests. The mistake tipped off an employee at Deutsche Bank and ultimately saved millions of dollars.

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Organizations in the financial services sector have a lot on their plates these days. From dealing with smaller profit margins and challenging regulations, to grappling with higher customer expectations and evolving technologies, there is no shortage of challenges. This includes facing an increase in cyberattacks on the financial services industry.

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Everywhere you turn it seems as though there is another article or blog about ‘Big Data’.

Given the importance of data and the opportunities it provides to businesses—to fuel better business decisions, facilitate more meaningful customer interactions, and develop new products and services—the topic is worthy of much discussion.

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Technological advances notwithstanding, program security still comes down to one basic element: well written code.

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The US payment system provides one of the greater challenges within cybersecurity. When most people hear about the payment system within the banking industry, they often have varying degrees of understanding as to what that exactly it is.

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Defining Cyber Concerns at 2014 ICS Cyber Security Conference

Joe Weiss has been beating the ICS Cyber Security drum for the past 12 years. Once again he summoned global critical infrastructure control systems engineers and asset owners working in operations management or in IT to join him for an annual conference. During the opening keynote Weiss articulated three challenges to achieving ICS cyber security in the context of collaborating with enterprise IT professionals.

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