In advance of the silliness tomorrow, here’s some serious cyber-related news chum:
- Ransomware on the Attack. There is a particularly nasty new ransomware out there called Petya. It’s nasty because it encrypts your disk extremely fast. How does it do it? When the ransomware is installed, the master boot record (MBR) is replaced with a malicious loader and the system is then forcefully rebooted. This then causes Windows machines to load the malicious code rather than the operating system. A screen then appears which pretends to be the system tool check disk (CHKDSK) and runs a ‘scan.’ As this fake scan proceeds, Petya is encrypting the Master File Table on the drive. Two tables encrypted, and your drive is toast. What can you do? Of course, be careful on that which you click. Cisco has a good article on detecting ransomware, and Bitdefender has a free tool that supposedly modifies your system so ransomware thinks it is already infected.
- Toshiba Batteries: Halt and Catch Fire. If you have a Toshiba laptop (as I do), you should know that there is a major recall in place for Toshiba batteries. It could affect you if you bought your system between 2011 and 2016. Slashdot has a bit more information, including a link to download a program to check your battery. I did. My system is safe.
- Windows 10 on the Attack. Last week I provided some advice on how to prevent automatic Windows 10 upgrades. PCWorld has an article on a free utility that will control automatic and unwanted upgrades to Windows 10.
- Antisemitic Printer Attacks. Here’s another attack in the news: A White Supremacist group took advantage of unprotected printers on college campuses and made them all print antisemitic flyers.
- Unsafe Hospitals. Think your medical equipment is safe. Think again. Nearly 1,500 vulnerabilities have been found in automated medical equipment.
- Tracking on Android. On a lighter note, here is some Android software you can use to
stalktrack your friends. Hopefully it is better than Friendfinder, which I find to be somewhat flakey on Android.
- And We Bow our Heads. Lastly, here’s a lament for the hard drive.