UK hospitals, Telefonica, FedEx, and other businesses were hit by a massive ransomware attack on Friday. Around 75,000 computers in 99 countries were affected by malware known as WannaCry, which encrypts a computer and demands a $300 ransom before unlocking it. The malware was able to spread thanks to flaws in old versions of Windows that were originally used by the NSA to hack into PCs before being made public by the Shadow Brokers group last month.
While Microsoft quickly issued fixes for the latest versions of Windows last month, this left Windows XP unprotected. Many of the machines attacked today have been breached simply because the latest Windows updates have not been applied quickly enough, but there are still organizations that continue to run Windows XP despite the risks. Microsoft is now taking what it describes as a “highly unusual” step to provide public patches for Windows operating systems that are in custom support only. This includes specific fixes for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003.
Microsoft usually charges businesses to provide custom support agreements for older versions of Windows, which include critical and important software updates from Microsoft beyond the normal end of extended support point. “Seeing businesses and individuals affected by cyberattacks, such as the ones reported today, was painful,” explains Phillip Misner, a security group manager at Microsoft. “Given the potential impact to customers and their businesses, we made the decision to make the Security Update for platforms in custom support only.”
It’s an unusual move for Microsoft, but this security flaw and the way it was discovered and made public is equally unusual. There are now signs that the ransomware attack has subsided thanks to a kill switch, discovered by a 22-year-old in the UK. Some experts believe the attackers behind the ransomware have only raised around $20,000 from the scam. Either way, this is yet another painful security lesson for everyone involved. Exploits should be disclosed by government agencies, systems should be patched in a timely manner, and nobody should be running an old supported version of Windows.
Over the last few months I keep hearing on how twitter is a failing company that has no control over its content and users.
I have been doing some thinking and figure that this could be a good step in the right direction in creating a safer, easier to control platform for everyone. These are my thoughts only so some people may not agree.
New verified Users
My first focus would be on the verified users as I don’t think that this is being utilized enough at the moment.
I would look at adding in a few more levels to the verification so that everyone can get verified and therefore validate who they are, this will help with the creation of fake accounts in twitter.
The other categories should be Manufacture’s and Celebrity’s and that s it…
The new verified users can have a different colour icons depending on what they are verified for example
The main thinking is once you have been verified and confirmed as you really being you then it gives more control over what and who you can see.
Controlling your content
So the first step is now completed and you are now a verified user, what should happen now is you can go into your settings and turn off showing non-verified users and\or block them. This way if you are a spam user and not showing who you really are then you cannot abuse or spam other users.
Secondly depending on how you want to use twitter you can also turn on or off the other categories of verified users giving you more control over the content that you see.
Pokemon GO is out in some regions, if its not availble to you as yet then you can download the APK form here.
Today i am attending my first VMUG Conference, although the day started really badly with the British public transport failing due to a slight weather change :-s i finally made it.
I am still getting used to the layout and the format of the event which is a small get together of VMware specialists. Its a great event to get together with people that worth with the same technology as yourself (Providing that you work with VMware products)
The first breakout that I attended is something that i have a keen interest in which is Mobile Work spaces such as Airwatch and VMware Horizon etc.
Virtual PC’s and BYOD is close to my heart with my background in working with MDT and machine builds to working with Mobile devices studying the latest in Mobile across the globe.
So one of VMware’s new acquisitions is Trustpoint, the reason for is to help automate the migration of the OS platform such as migrating from Windows 7 > Windows 10 (VMware Trustpoint Image Service)
All in all I got a lot out of the event and it had a lot of laughs. I will defiantly be attending the next one.
Until next time bye for now….
Yet another fantastic event although a week or so ago now. Learnt loads on what is the latest threats in IT and the methods in which companies are trying to fight against it.
It’s a bizarre feeling walking around a place like this as you start to look and watch people. It is easy to start looking at people and think that they are hackers and there is no doubt that most of the time you are probably right as they have the stereotypical look about them.
Over all a great day and again i left there with a wealth of new knowledge.