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High alert over global cyber-attacks


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High alert over global cyber-attacks

By ASINA PORNWASIN,
NATTHAPAT PHROMKAEW 
THE SUNDAY NATION

 

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Blue spots on the world map show areas affected by the malware.

 

AUTHORITIES are on high alert following a global spread of malicious software in a massive wave of cyber-attacks affecting about 100 countries including Thailand.

 

The government yesterday warned computer users to beware of this dangerous malware. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to closely monitor the situation here and issue guidelines necessary to the public to curb negative impacts, Government spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said yesterday.

 

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said yesterday the cyber-attacks were causing havoc across the globe “at an unprecedented level”, AFP reported. The attacks would “require a complex international investigation to identify the culprits”, said the agency, which is working with countries and companies affected. 

 

Some unidentified computers in Thailand were attacked by the WannaCry ransomware that has caused the attacks but critical sectors of healthcare, telecommunications and finance have not been affected, the Thailand Computer Emergency Response Team (ThaiCERT) said yesterday.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

 

“In Thailand, we found that some computers were affected by the malware. But the infection has not been widespread,” ThaiCERT said in a statement. However, it did not have details regarding particular computers, IP addresses or organisations affected, a source familiar with the matter told The Nation yesterday.

 

The source said he saw a diagram that shows Thailand is among the countries targeted. 

 

After learning about the attack, ThaiCERT alerted leading public hospitals but so far, no hospitals in Thailand have been hit by the ransomware attack, the source said. Financial services and banks, as well as the telecommunications sector, did not appear to have been affected.

 

“We had a meeting with hospitals on Saturday morning. The healthcare sector has not been affected,” the source said.

 

Local mobile operator, Total Access Communication Plc (Dtac) told The Nation the firm’s telecommunication network had not been attacked by WannaCry.

 

Kasikornbank said its system security team has measures to protect and closely monitor the bank’s computer systems.

 

Meanwhile, Vice Minister for Digital Economy and Society Pansak Siriruchatapong said critical infrastructure organisations – hospitals and financial institutions included – must have action plans to take care of their information.

 

As many as 90 per cent of computers affected by ransomware would not recover, according to the source. He said organisations could protect themselves from ransomware by updating information in an external hard disk, avoid opening attached files in emails sent from unknown senders or clicking suspicious links. They should also keep their operating system and other software updated, the source advised. 

 

Organisations could help protect users from ransomware with a system to filter emails. Currently, most organisations in Thailand are aware of the risk of cyber-attacks, he added. 

 

“The challenge is how to deal with the risk. To deal with the cyber-attack, organisations should be reactive, have a computer emergency response team or CERT team, and proactive action plans,” he said.

 

He suggested that financial, telecom, and healthcare sectors should have their own CERT – Computer Emergency Response Team.

 

ThaiCERT is closely working with financial institutions, including the three main regulators of the financial, stock, and insurance sectors.

 

Currently, 200 of the 283 state organisations use ThaiCERT’s security services. The Office of the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Health and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, were examples.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30315143

 

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-05-14
 
 
 
 
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Could just be a hard sell to upgrade. As in upgrade or get attacked logic. Fear works every time. May find the attack was by the same companies that supply software upgrades etc and want to keep their business viable. Attacks this great could have been built into the system. 

  Every thing is outsourced now and  control is compromised.

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1 hour ago, carstenp said:

 

Well time for Win XP to end in thailand then, and welcome to win 10 :smile:

 

 

 

Don't need WIN10 - just change to a Linux system, as used by the majority of web servers anyway.  

 

Linux is fundamentally more secure than Windows - has an entirely different architecture.  No-one is claiming that Linux is 100% secure but, to date, there have been zero Linux viruses 'in the wild'.

 

The change to something like Linux Mint, especially if you are used to XP or WIN7, is really not very hard.  Only a small learning curve.

 

Also free so no upgrade costs!!

 

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3 hours ago, doctormann said:

 

Don't need WIN10 - just change to a Linux system, as used by the majority of web servers anyway.  

 

Linux is fundamentally more secure than Windows - has an entirely different architecture.  No-one is claiming that Linux is 100% secure but, to date, there have been zero Linux viruses 'in the wild'.

 

The change to something like Linux Mint, especially if you are used to XP or WIN7, is really not very hard.  Only a small learning curve.

 

Also free so no upgrade costs!!

 

 

The servers may be Linux but what about the users on the networks? Unless you have good protection at the point of entry, all it takes is for someone at a workstation to click the link or open the attachment and the network can potentially be infected or go down. To change operating systems (to Linux) to cope with 'standard' software used globally, even for an SME, is massive. Go to specialized software, then forget it.

 

Wannacry and malware/ransomware like it are a bit of a nightmare and all it takes for the nightmare to be repeated is a little variable in the code and it to be relaunched. This ransomware sh-1t  is going to be the next great threat to the entire internet user population in the years IMO

Edited by chrisinth
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Seems like the problem is confined to older versions of Windows, particularly those that are no longer supported.  For versions that are still supported users only need to ensure they are getting updates.  In Windows 10 it seems harder to switch off the automatic updating default.  The UK NHS must have particularly useless IT management to have fallen prey to something like this.  Thai government systems are no doubt even more vulnerable.

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IMHO the down side of global internet is starting to show its ugly head. Be prepared for more and stronger and deeper attacks as  more people gain knowledge and use it for personal or political gain. The internet is due to start breaking down as it at present time.. The future of internet is unforeseen at present but major changes will happen in not the to distant future.Many that people will not like but have to accept.

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8 minutes ago, lovelomsak said:

IMHO the down side of global internet is starting to show its ugly head. Be prepared for more and stronger and deeper attacks as  more people gain knowledge and use it for personal or political gain. The internet is due to start breaking down as it at present time.. The future of internet is unforeseen at present but major changes will happen in not the to distant future.Many that people will not like but have to accept.

... one shouldn't forget the source of this mess: 

the Shadowbroker dump from NSA exploits 

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Friday May 12th was a government holiday.

So maybe many workplace devices switched off on Thursday 11th.

I hope they think twice before they switch on tomorrow with internet connected :whistling:

 

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With all the intrusive monitoring the lettered organizations (CIA, NSA, FBI, MI6) insist they need to perpetrate on their citizens, they should either be able to identify where the money's going, or they should hang their collective heads in shame, admit their intrusive snooping isn't keeping us any safer, and quit listening in on our private conversations.

Edited by impulse
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7 hours ago, rooster59 said:

The challenge is how to deal with the risk. To deal with the cyber-attack, organisations should be reactive, have a computer emergency response team or CERT team, and proactive action plans,” he said.

 

So which should it be - reactive or proactive?

 

I would say that organizations still on Win XP - a 17 yo operating system, not even supported anymore - have themselves to blame. Especially with all the warning from WikiLeaks after the NSA file release.

 

Btw, who should produce the patch - Microsoft who made XP in the first place - or NSA who created the trojan virus?

 

 

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5 hours ago, doctormann said:

 

Don't need WIN10 - just change to a Linux system, as used by the majority of web servers anyway.  

 

Linux is fundamentally more secure than Windows - has an entirely different architecture.  No-one is claiming that Linux is 100% secure but, to date, there have been zero Linux viruses 'in the wild'.

 

The change to something like Linux Mint, especially if you are used to XP or WIN7, is really not very hard.  Only a small learning curve.

 

Also free so no upgrade costs!!

 

After years of torment with Windows 8, 8.1 and 10, in a fit of rage, 2 days ago, I completely uninstalled Windows 10, and am now using Linux Mint, which I installed as a dual boot about 4 years ago.  Yes, Mint is quite easy to master if you were using Windows; you don't have to learn much code, if you don't want to.  If anybody is worried about using Linux for online banking, etc, just use a VPN and it will probably be more secure than Windows ever was.

 

I also installed Remix OS, which is the Android pc system.  So far, I can't find many faults with it, and it gives access to the playstore apps.

 

Happy computing

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1 hour ago, impulse said:

With all the intrusive monitoring the lettered organizations (CIA, NSA, FBI, MI6) insist they need to perpetrate on their citizens, they should either be able to identify where the money's going, or they should hang their collective heads in shame, admit their intrusive snooping isn't keeping us any safer, and quit listening in on our private conversations.

That's how it all works, doesn't it?  When people are fearful they give up their rights and freedoms to government in exchange for protection from the people or situations they fear.  Then an invasive overwatch begins, protections seldom materialize and never in the form originally imagined ... and of course those rights and freedoms are gone unlikely to return for a very long time.  Seems to play out everywhere around the globe.  So what rights and freedoms are we going to give up to protect us from malicious computer virus's ... that were the upshot of other rights and freedoms we gave up to the government for protection.

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Continually giving up rights and freedoms to protect us from what? Bogeymen created by governments so they can wield more power and play on the fear of citizens. Government are afraid of their own citizens and have forgotten that government was created to serve the people- not the other way around. The American Patriot Act is the greatest misnomer ever created- nothing patriotic about it.

 

With all the technology available to the NSA- they can certainly provide an antidote to the virus they created. They have an even bigger problem- how did it escape and who has it. Billions of Dollars on an institution that wants to continually perpetuate itself while millions of Americans go without healthcare. I truly fear for the next generation Worldwide who will have to find a way to survive in a very polarized World.

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Here is my main concern:

 

What happens if our banks get hit, both abroad and in Thailand? It could mean our accounts getting wiped out if they have no backups, online banking inactive, no access to our funds and all ATM machines would be out of action.

 

Does anyone have faith in the security of the Thai banking system. I sure don`t. I have been searching online to find any reports on what the major banks are doing to safeguard their systems against these kinds of outrages, but so far can`t find any and I sure am losing confidence in a matter that everyone should have concerns about.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Happyman58 said:

I am in thailand and watch Sport 365/Tv Its has gone off air Cannot connect to server Tried Contact e-mail and went to website its down to  Have they done a runner and closed shop

Just checked here:

http://www.websitenotworking.com

 

It`s down. but for what I read, Sport 365/Tv seems to be down quite often, so no point in assuming anything yet.

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19 minutes ago, Happyman58 said:

I am in thailand and watch Sport 365/Tv Its has gone off air Cannot connect to server Tried Contact e-mail and went to website its down to  Have they done a runner and closed shop

There is a current thread on this subject, including Sport365. 

 

https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/982601-thaiexpattv/?page=18#comment-11885943

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10 hours ago, carstenp said:

 

Well time for Win XP to end in thailand then, and welcome to win 10 :smile:

 

 

AFAIK It will attack XP and W10 probably W7 & 8 too...

 

The issue is Microsoft knew that this virus was in the public domain and issued a patch back in March so most computers are protected, the problem is XP is unsupported so there was no patch issued, but MS have now issued a patch for XP.

 

I worked for a large multi international company and who would not allow automatic up dates, patches had to be tested by them first, I think the way they tested them was to sit on them for a few months util they were sure no one else had a problem, service packs used to take years, and we were using W95 months after MS withdrew support for it. 

 

5 hours ago, KhunBENQ said:

Friday May 12th was a government holiday.

So maybe many workplace devices switched off on Thursday 11th.

I hope they think twice before they switch on tomorrow with internet connected :whistling:

 

The Kill Switch has been activated, not sure if that will stop the virus if someone opens an attachment or just stops it copulating (spreading)...

Edited by Basil B
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