Thursday, August 22, 2019

Over 20 localities in Texas hit by ransomware simultaneously


Kevin Collier of CNN reports that 22 local governments in Texas were hit by a coordinated ransomware attack on Friday Aug. 23 when the business day opened. 
  
A few of the towns still cannot process utility payments or process vital records (like birth certificates).
  
  
Texas is better prepared with law enforcement than many states. Apparently the source is overseas and authorities may arrest in a country where the US can extradite.  

This seems to be the first coordinated attack involving multiple municipalities.

Local governments don’t seem to spend as much money with security.
   
I remember on a recent trip to Ontario passing an “Iron Mountain” facility on the outskirts of Waterloo, about 60 miles from Toronto.  Local governments don’t seem to be storing offsite backups.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Windows 10 has two new wormable vulnerabilities, fixed with the Aug 14 update


Windows 10 has two major vulnerabilities which the update on Aug. 14 (automatically scheduled) fixes, various sources report.  These vulnerabilities could apparently be unleased with no user action (like clicking on links in emails). Apparently these also apply the the Creators' Update series. 

  
Microsoft describes them as “wormable vulnerabilities in Remote Desktop Services” (CVE-2019-1181/1182).  The problem does not occur in early Microsoft operating systems (7 and 8). 

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Could hackers cause a highway 9/11 event?


Gannett’s Detroit Free Press reports on vulnerabilities that could lead to sudden mass road casualties from a foreign attack on Internet-connected vehicles, especially Jeep Cherokees, story by Eric D. Lawrence.  

  
This is backed up by a Consumer Watchdog report which advocates giving motorists a kill switch.  

My own Ford Focus is not Internet connected as far as I know.