Global Ransomware Attack Exposes Folly Of Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket

UK broadcast news and online news sites have been dominated for most of the day by the cyber attack that has affected government and business computer systems. Most disturbing consequence of the attack, which hijacks computer screens with a message that files have been encrypted and can only be unlocked on payment of a large fee (a type of malware known as Ransomware) is fact that hospitals across the United Kingdom had gone dark , locking staff out of patient records and appointment systems..

The situation has got significantly worse as The BBC reports the ransomware attack has gone global.

Screenshots showing a message put out by a popular screen hijacker app show a program that locks computers and demands a payment in Bitcoin have been posted online by organisations hit by the attack.

It is not yet clear whether the attacks are all connected. One cyber-security consultant tweeted that he had detected 36,000 instances of the ransomware, called WannaCry and variants of that name.

“This is huge,” he said.

There have been reports of infections in the UK, US, China, Russia, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Taiwan and others.

The BBB details a number of Spanish firms including some of the biggest businesses in spain were among the apparent victims elsewhere in Europe.

Telecoms giant Telefonica said in a statement that it was aware of a “cybersecurity incident” but that clients and services had not been affected.

Power firm Iberdrola and utility provider Gas Natural were also reported to have suffered from the outbreak.

There were reports that staff at the firms were told to turn off their computers.

In Italy, one user shared images appearing to show a university computer lab with machines locked by the same program.

The Blue Screen Of Death

Bitcoin wallets seemingly associated with the ransomware were reported to have already started filling up with cash.

“This is a major cyber attack, impacting organisations across Europe at a scale I’ve never seen before,” said security architect Kevin Beaumont.

According to security firm Check Point, the version of the ransomware that appeared today is a new variant.

Several experts monitoring the situation have linked the attacks to vulnerabilities released by a group known as The Shadow Brokers, which recently claimed to have dumped hacking tools stolen from the NSA.

_____________________________________

An attack such as this has been inevitable due to the inherent vulnerabilities of the world wide web (conceived by an amateur, remember) and the near monopoly of the Windows operating system and Google search engine that has been encouraged by governments of the USA, the EU and most leading nations of the free world.

While it’s true that things are much more convenient if we all use the same computer systems, convenience is a double edged sword. What’s convenient for the lay user is even more convenient for cyber criminals who are rogue programmers and analysts.

RELATED POSTS:

Why Do Government Information Technology Projects always Screw Up? Because Everything Governmrent Touches Becomes Political
While scientists burble excitedly about the internet of things, computer-brain interfaces that will enable the government to control us from data centres, creating human / computers hybrids and other science fantasy rubbish as if any of it stands a chance of becoming reality, government Information Technology managers, with almost unlimited resources at their disposal, can’t even manage to cobble together a simple database and search routine. The failure of the e borders project is the latest in a long line of screw ups.

How Internet Companies Like Google and Facebook Have Helped The spread of extremism
Although the Westminster terror attack is still filling the print and broadcast news and the usual conspiracy theories about it’s being a false flag incident start to circulate, attention is turning to the role of technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter in the process of radicalisation. Google stands accused of providing easy access …

Pissed Off With Government/Microsoft/Google Online Spying? Be Completely Anonymous Online
Not so long ago our biggest worry online was malware, virus software, trojans and worms plagued the internet cost many people a lot of time and worry. Since about a year ago everything has changed, protecting our digital privacy is the issue and the enemy is no longer spotty little nerds hunched over computers in dimly lit basements, but governments and major technology corporations.

Item In Todays News About US Gov’t Internet Security Hack has Tipped Our Editor Over The Edge.
I had my fill of the USA’s presidential election some time ago. Trump won, personally I was glad, not because I think he’ll be a good president, he’s a cunt, but because Hillary Clinton campaigned on a promise to start World War Three and that’s the one campaign promise I was sure she would keep. …

Facebook boss Zukerberg Wants To Own The Internet
Facebook’s latest acquisition Whatsapp cost $19bn, that’s $40 per user. Whatsapp charge their users $1 per year. That means it will take Facebook 40 years to recover their outlay. And people are buying shares in this company? Insane.

The Internet Purge Of Politically Incorrect (aka truthful) Content Begins.
When US President Barack Hussein Obama (the cocksucker president) in one of his moves aimed at sucking offup to the globalist millionaires who are trying to abolish free speech and democracy signed over (illegally and unconstitutionally) to the United Nations the USA’s control of ICANN, the nearest thing the internet has to date had to …

Technowanks for technowankers with Google Glass?
Almost every day we are reporting the latest ‘breaktrhough in dehumanisation and a further step towards making us all slaves to technology. The scientists are out of control, semi – autistic nerds with no understanding of ethical boundaries are giving politicians with no scruples about reviving Naziism the tools to enslave us.

Internet Privacy: could Your Online Porn Viewing Details Go Viral
Even if you are using privacy tools is your internet browsing safe. How secret are your financial transactions, are the off colour jokes you share with friends really private, and what about the kind of sites you would never tell your mother you visit? While you are watching porn, who is watching you? Image source: …

Facebook Are Nazis – We Told You So
All the Greenteeth Labyrinth pages have consistently warned that the most successful internet companies, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter etc. are led by people with authoritarian, even fascistic tendencies and a world domination complex which manifests itself as a desire to establish a monopoly position in their field. Facebook are at the forfront of this fascist cartel.

Facebook Boss Zuckerberg Wants To Own The Internet

Facebook IPO

Facebook Evil Empire

Facebook Privacy Piracy

Google Being Evil

Google Surveillance Society

Itnernet Privacy Theft

Internet Threat To Fivilisation

News Used To Be Important But The Internet Is A barrier To How We Communicate

Tell the internet I am a human being not a computer

The technology you deserve

Science and technology menu

more on Internet Technology

Society

Greenteeth Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] … [ Writerbeat ] … [ Daily Stirrer.shtml ]…[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [ It’s Bollocks My Dears, All Bollocks ] [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … [ Latest Posts ] [Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [Latest Posts] … [ Tumblr ] … [ Authorsden blog ] … [Daily Stirrer Headlines]
[ Ian at Facebook ]

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Virus (beat the Ransomware scam)

There’s a new ransomware internet virus doing the rounds. DON’T PANIC A bit of background first then I’ll tell you how to deal with it and protect your computer (and you don’t have to pay me a penny :DD ).

These ransom scams first appeared two or three years ago and hijacked computers whose owners then would get a phone call demanding a payment to clear the virus (the virus was merely annoying, how the scammers obtained people’s phone numbers is what we should be concerned about.

The warnings were dire. “If you do not pay the virus will wipe you hard drive”, “the virus will obtain your bank details and empty your account”, the virus will bill your credit card up to your limit”.

Several people, friends of family, friends of friends, brought their computers to me, they could not afford the ransom (good thing they didn’t pay it, the scammers just demanded more) and found the computer shops wanted only a little less to clean the computer.

Cleaning the first one took about an hour and a half. Subsequent ones were much quicker. And I ended up a couple of bottles of good whisky and half a dozen bottles of my favourite Burgundy better off.

Then an even more unpleasant version came out, I actually caught this one myself through sheer carelessness. The message on screen was “From Los Angeles Police Department.You have been looking at we sites with illegal content (child pornography). Your computer will be frozen until you pay us $1000. If you do not pay you will be arrested and thrown into jail,” (something like that anyway, it was a particularly inept attempt to intimidate me, I hadn’t been looking at any porn sites, LAPD have no jurisdiction in the UK and no police department in the free world would be so stupid as to provide an electronic record of a bribe solicitation.

The virus used by that scam was kids stuff, a piece of cake. Took ten minutes to kill it.

People are so intimidated by technology however, some fall for these tricks.

Here’s how the new ransomware is reported in The Daily Telegraph

” Internet fraudsters are targetting tens of millions of British customers with a virus which locks computers until the victim pays a £500 ransom to be released, the National Crime Agency warned today.

The spammers are particularly aiming the virus – known as ransomware – at small and medium size businesses. It is disguised as an email alert about suspicious payments or invoices.

Once opened the virus ‘freezes’ the computer and the local network and demands two Bitcoins of internet currency – approximately £536 – to unlock the machine.

The NCA described the ‘mass spamming’ event as a ‘significant risk’.

A NCA spokesman said: “The emails may be sent out to tens of millions of UK customers, but they appear to be targeting small and medium businesses in particular. ”

Now one of my beefs about the way technology has been going is the constant push to convince us the machines are smarter than we are. Leave the thinking to the machine goes the corporate propaganda. DON’T fall for it, do not open suspecious emails, do not open email attachments even from people you know, unless you are expecting them.

Machines can’t think, machines aren’t dumb, they are machines, they do what they are built or programmed to do. The best way to protect yourself from these scammers is to learn a little about your computer.

(1) Learn to start in “Safe Mode”. Use your Windows Help feature to find out how on your system. Safe Mode stats Windows with a very limited set of drivers so viruses and malware cannot run.

(2) Check that your machine has an application named MRT.EXE which should be included in every Windows installation sold since 2009. MRT is the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool. Once you have found it you should open it and run an update. MRT is not virus protection, it is a backstop for machines that are already infected so don’t abandon your usual security package. Also, now you know you have MRT, keep it up to date, about once a month is enough.

If you have a bit of time to spare and feel like running MRT just to find your way around it, set it off and take the dog for a walk or something. It is not a quick process but might root out a few nasties your normal security missed. To run MRT click the Windows START button, choose RUN from the menu and in the dialog box type mrt.exe then hit RETURN.

OK so now you are equipped to get behind that virus and clean your machine.

If you find that the virus merchants have found a way to block MRT even in safe mode, we’re still OK. When you start in safe mode it gives several options, the default will show a very clunky looking Windows front end. Another option with say “Start in command more” or something similar. This takes you to the old DOS command line screen.

from the C:(directory)> prompt, type RUN c:WINDOWSSTSTEM32MRT.EXE and hir RETURN. Simples. The directory shown after the C: will be whatever directory you are working in, usually Documents and SettingsUser

OK, let’s get out there and beat those scammers.

Spread this around freely. A link to this site is always welcome but not necessary.

More Technological Fascism From Microsoft And Google

A heartfelt rant against Microsoft and Technological Fascism in general posted on From The Trenches spoke for many people I think …

Here’s an extract:

Microsoft Forcing People To Accept Windows 8 and NSA’s Prism Technology

Recently, I have been shopping for a new computer and have been looking for any computer that does not have Windows 8, as I am an American and I FREELY CHOOSE to NOT want that operating system on my computer. I am fully aware of all of the bugs in the new operating system, including the fact that Microsoft has a default setting in their system that allows the NSA to go in, view and copy any information on your computer to be used against you WITHOUT your explicit authorization and going against any or all privacy laws.

Microsoft’s basically uses the pathetic excuse, “Well, we already had the default setting checked in order to prevent us from giving any information to the government before and no one knew about it in our earlier operating systems, so we are just going to leave that default unchecked and the user can have the option to check it if they want.”

Are you kidding me? This is an invasion of privacy, is unethical and goes against every law in the book! There shouldn’t even be anything to allow anyone into your computer unless you specifically say so!

So knowing this, I refuse to get Windows 8 and decided to go shopping for a simple $400 laptop that has Windows 7 on it (knowing that Windows XP is phased out and Vista is a mess).

As I went to Frys, Best Buy and even a local computer store, I have gotten plenty of information from salesmen who mostly give me a look that they know what is going on, while others pretend to not know and then say there are other reasons why they don’t allow anything but Windows 8 to be sold anymore in stores.

Read full article

And here’s my reply

Microsoft is not the only technology company to go to war against customers freedom and consumer rights. A few days ago Google Chrome landed on my desktop, I don’t know how it got there, I did not request it and none of the sites I had visited warned be that it was about to be installed. Now my view of Google (Don’t be evil, that’s our job) places them somewhere between syphilis and The Plague, I don’t want anything from that company on my PC, I search with BING or Duck Duck Go (a decent search tool despite its silly name), I don’t use Google Maps or Google earth, I try to avoid any Google product.
So when Chrome started making threatening noises about my not having installed it as my default search engine I uninstalled. And in the process uninstalled a lot of browser stuff I did not want to uninstall including my ftp capability.
OK, I have a spare computer so I’m not seriously inconvenienced but who the hell do these people think they are. And can we raise class actions against technology firms that refuse to understand the implications of “I bought it with my money and it is mine, nobody else’s” (or as a T Shirt I once had proclaimed, ” If I want mayonnaise I’ll ask for effing mayonnaise.”) We want source disks, printed manuals and an operating system that does not require daily patches to keep it running.

If you don’t fancy switching to Linux or have too much legacy stuff why not get hold of a second hand copy of XP and buy a raw system to load it on, XP having become just about fit for purpose by the time they announced phasing it out. Or get some nerd with principles to copy the windows source files from your old PC.

********************

Come on everyone, it’s time we stopped taking this crap from nerds, remember the only reason these guys like Page and Brin, Gates, Jobs etc. are so good at frigging around with computers (and none of the little script kiddies can actually write proper programs, like wot I can) is they are sad, dysfuctional, semi – autistic little Billy – No – Mates who have no lives and thus spend all their time playing around with scripts that make modern, bloated operating systems do things televisions, hi fis, camcorders etc. have done far better for decades. And the creepy little shits have the nerve to call this progress.

And if any smug little webhead is thinking of replying “Well I don’t care if the government can take over my computer, I have nothing to hide,” I have only one thing to say to you.

“Get a life you pitiable wretch.”

RELATED POSTS:
New From Apple – SP iPhone, The Smart Phone That brings you and the NSA closer

What’s The Use Of Windows That Cannot Be Closed

Google To Revive Old Boomtown Rats Hit

Facebook’s Stockmarket Launch Fizzles Out

News Used To Be Important – Now It’s Just Entertainment

Google Evil Empire In New Privacy Violation

Google Has Comptely Forgotten ‘Don’t Be Evil’ As The World Domination Agend Gathers Pace

Science Brings Doomsday Closer – scientists announced we are nearer to a global catastrophe than we were a year ago
Slaves Of The Machine

Don’t Google It – our dependence on the internet is killing our ability to learn

Has Google algorithm tweaking hit your traffic?

You Get What You Deserve.

Anti – Social Networking

Let’s All Laugh At Microsoft

Having been a Microsoft hater for three decades (from when MS DOS rather than the vastly superior DR DOS was shoehorned into the public consciousness as the operating system of choice for first generatoion IBM PCs) I read this with some amusement.

“Uptake of Windows 8 for desktop computers – which was never particularly fast – has slowed, according to stats for July from web traffic pollsters Net Applications.

“Microsoft’s latest operating system held a 5.4 per cent of the global desktop OS market last month, up 0.3 points on June which was up 0.83 points on May. A glance at the Net Applications graph shows a gradually slowing trend over time.

“(We’re told the stats were gathered from the logs of some 160m unique web surfers hitting 40,000 websites in the pollster’s analytics network: each visitor’s browser is expected to reveal some basic information about their computer, but this can be spoofed so the usual health warnings about user-agent statistics apply.)

“Officially released in October 2012, Windows 8 has been growing at less than one per cent a month in the desktop arena, but June was the high water market hitting nearly a whole one percentage point of growth. Last month, though, its rate of increase slumped.

“That’s sobering news for Microsoft.”

But good news for those of us intelligent enough to stick with XP as our Windows desktop (or use Linux, I have both)and in fact for everybody else is that Windows XP still occupying second place in the OS sales stats having seen off Vista as well as Win 8 – had a minor resurgence during July. Net Applications found XP, first released in 2001, clawed back 37.19 of the market versus 37.17 in the month before, pausing its long-term downward trend towards its demise. Many companies moving off Windows XP are going to Windows 7, the number one most used desktop OS, and Net Applications found version 7’s use up by 0.12 points on June.

That will teach Mr. Gates that you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but when you keep selling hits that is not fit for purpose, it will rebound on you in the end.

Hating the internet with a vengance…

Now I have never been slow to admit I am not a great fan of internet technology and they systems we must use to access the net. Recently however I am developing genocidal feeling towards nerds.

While Page and Brin, leaders of Google (“Don’t be evil, that’s our job”) seem able to make search results ever more irrelevant information wise but ever higher on the irritating load of irrelevant arse dribble scale (When searching for sites featuring the work Pre – Raphaelite artists I do not want two million sites offering me the chance to buy prints / porn / penis enlargement / peanut butter at discount prices.

Even so, for sheer Satanic evil nobody has yet come close to Microsoft. They are pure evil, Azazel, Beelzebub, Cthulhu and Dennis the Menace rolled into one.

I recently signed up for a security service on my broadband service. Malware protection should always have been on the servers, they are far better placed to scan traffic than anything in our homes. Unfortunately in unloading Macafee which came pre loaded with the PC I found several important Windows components stopped working.

With pre loaded Windows systems, though it is not a difficult job to restore damaged operating system files, it is long winded, messy and a pain in the arse.

I am in the process of moving to Linux (mostly because of the non existent security of Windows systems) but have quite a way to climb up the learning curve yet so I need Windows for a while.

Which means I will have to spend most of the next few days restoring the system following what should be a simple and straightforward operation. Actually anti virus software causes more problems than most viruses.

The problem is of course due to all Microsoft’s efforts to convince us Windows can think like a human (it can’t, no machine ever will) they have ended up with a system so bloated and complex nobody really knows how it works anymore. So if you try to do something a bit clver you find Windows in conflict with itself.

RELATED POSTS:
Silicon Valley Business Model Threatened As Wireless Carriers Start Blocking Online Ads
It looks like the founding hippy’s insane business polan for the internet, get rich by giving stuff away, is finally about to foll apart. Typoically of the Californin dope head culture of Silicon Valley, the tech companies were stealing other peoples’ resources to make their ad revenue.
Is There any way of being polite to a troll
IBM Develop Computer Chips To Replicate The Human Brain
I am a human being not a computer
The Internet threat to civilisation
The Little Robot that cried
Trust Me I’m Doctor Google