by Pamela Williams
Here we go again. We are under Version 2 cyber-attack. This one is different from the first WannaCry attack. The experts are saying this attack will be worse. The new attack targets the same vulnerabilities as the WannaCry ransomware worm exploited, but there will be no freezing of files this time.
This Version 2 will use hundreds of thousands of computers believed to have been infected to mine virtual currency. I cannot wrap my mind around this…it gets deeper and more complex by the minute.
The joy of discovery: researchers at Proofpoint discovered a new attack linked to WannaCry called Adylkuzz, said Nicolas Godier. “It uses hacking tools recently disclosed by the NSA, which have been fixed by Microsoft.” We are suffering such a betrayal as we are targeted by our own Intelligence.
Researchers remained on high alert for new variants that could lead to a fresh wave of infections. Researchers from three security firms dismissed initial reports on Saturday that a new version of WannaCry/WannaCrypt had emerged, saying this was based on a rushed analysis of code data that proved erroneous.
The MalwareTech researcher warned on Twitter on Sunday: “Version 1 of WannaCrypt was stoppable but version 2.0 will likely remove the flaw. You’re only safe if you patch ASAP.”
Bryce Boland, Asia Pacific chief technology officer for FireEye, a cybersecurity company, said it would be straightforward for existing attackers to launch new releases or for other ransomware authors to start copying the way the malware replicated.
The US government on Saturday issued a technical alert with advice on how to protect against the attacks, asking victims to report any to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Department of Homeland Security.
This Version2 of the virus Adyilkuzz uses machines it infects to “mine” in a background task virtual currency, Monero, and transfer the money created to the author’s of the virus.
I still cannot wrap my mind around this, but I do know governments are in a cyberwar. No one can tell me we are not at war!
Virtual currencies such as Monero and Bitcoin use the computers of volunteers to record transactions. They are said to “mine” for the currency and are occasionally rewarded with a piece of it.
Proofpoint said in a blog that symptoms of the attack include:
- Loss of access to shared Windows resources,
- Degradation of the PC,
- Degradation of server performance,
- And some users may not notice this immediately.
I am seeing a slowing of the Internet right now. One of the search engines I use was so slow I lost patience.
“As it is silent and doesn’t trouble the user, the Adylkuzz attack is much more profitable for the cyber criminals. It transforms the infected users into unaware financial supporters of their attackers.”quoted an expert. I don’t like to play the role of a victim, but these criminals are raping my mind!
Proofpoint said it has detected machines that have transferred several thousands dollars worth of Monero to the creators of the virus.
The firm believes Adylkuzz has been on the loose since at least May 2, and perhaps even since April 24, but due to its stealthy nature was not immediately detected.
“We don’t know how big it is” but “it’s much bigger than WannaCry”, Proofpoint’s vice president for email products, Robert Holmes, told AFP.
A US official on Tuesday put the number of computers infected by WannaCry at over 300,000.
“We have seen that before – malwares mining cryptocurrency – but not this scale,” said Holmes.
The WannaCry attack has sparked havoc in computer systems worldwide.
Britain’s National Health Service, US package delivery giant FedEx, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn rail network were among those hit.
While the rate of new infections has slowed, researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point said the malware continues to spread rapidly.
And another expert added that despite a quick breakthrough that WannaCry to be slowed down, researchers don’t fully understand it.
“The problem is that we’re still not certain about the origin of the infections” as contrary to many previous attacks it wasn’t via emails which deceive users into installing the virus, said the expert on condition of anonymity.
More attacks could be soon be underway as the hacker group The Shadow Brokers that leaked the vulnerabilities used by WannaCry and Adylkuzz has threatened to publish more.
It said in a post it would begin providing information monthly by subscription in June, saying that in addition to Windows 10 vulnerabilities it would include “COMPROMISED NETWORK DATA FROM RUSSIAN, CHINESE, IRANIAN, OR NORTH KOREAN NUKES AND MISSILE PROGRAMS.”
In conclusion, I am very angry that cyber criminals are taking over my precious and private world of the Internet. My go to when I want to retreat and communicate with like minded-individuals like you.
I love to fire up my laptop and enter the empowering world of cyberspace. I have the power to reach an information source at a click.
Now, because of the evil in this world I am being raped of my independence to use this great resource that now is being manipulated by evildoers.
It is incredibly sad to think that any mind brilliant enough to understand this technical miracle is spiritually inept…seeking to deprive their fellow man of such an exploration that we enjoy here.
We have reached the point of extinction as a species. We were at a crossroads, and we have taken the wrong path.
Satan and his minions are mocking the minds of men. While God sits back and listens to the cries of His children, He knows that the spell is almost broken. He will intervene soon, but we must be patient.
There are those of us who have remained close to Home, as our souls have remained uncorrupted. That does not mean we do not feel the pain in this war for the hearts and souls of mankind.
We are mourning, as we know the loss of communication means death.
We are also perplexed that anyone of us would seek to create a virus that would wipe out our freedoms and our communications.
We all will suffer. Do these evildoers live off planet? It is their society, too, but they act not like it is. I truly do not understand, but I continue to stay close to Home.