New Computer Ransomware Outbreak
Just on the heels of the recent 'WannaCry' threat in May, it looks like a new threat to computers in the United States may be looming on the horizon.
I have a few friends that had to deal with the Ransomware 'Wannacry' at their place of employment. It demanded that $300 to $600 in bitcoin be added to an account, and a key would be sent to unlock the computer and/or network.
The sad thing was that they work at a local hospital. Luckily, despite losing their network for a day or two, it did not result in any thing serious with their patients. Thank God, right?
According to a blog post on Symantec's web site, 'Petya' is starting taking over computers. Symantec is a cyber security company, and they explained in that post how this Ransomware could infect your computer and hold you hostage for $300 in bitcoins.
Symantec posted details yesterday (June 27, 2017) about a new threat called Peyta.
"A new strain of the Petya ransomware started propagating on June 27, 2017, infecting many organizations. Similar to WannaCry, Petya uses the Eternal Blue exploit as one of the means to propagate itself." Symantec Blog Post
It reads like Petya has been around for about a year, but this variation acts more aggressively. It doesn't just drop in encrypt files. It also overwrites and encrypts files/data on a computer's master boot record (MBR).
"One of the methods Petya uses to propagate itself is by exploiting the MS17-010 vulnerability, also known as Eternal Blue. Symantec continues to investigate other possible methods of propagation."
Petya is demanding $300 in bitcoin. At this time, this is affecting companies in Europe, but with the Internet's global connectivity, it might be long before this rash scratches computer hard drives in the United States.
I try to be vigilant when it comes to computer safety by being very mindful of the web sites I visit, and I try to avoid those that I think might try to take over my network. The same can be said for emails and attachments. That being said, hackers are getting smarter and smarter, and they are finding ways around that.
Life seems to be so reliant to a web connection that I get more and more nervous about it each day. We've come a long way since those dial up days hoping that we'd even get a connection to AOL, Netscape, or a local provider, but so have the hacker scums and their ingenuity.