A new wave of Petya ransomware has been affecting a significant number of organisations across a wide range of industries since Tuesday 27 June. Many victims have already been identified in Ukraine, Spain, Netherlands, and the UK.
The attack is reminiscent of the May 2017 WannaCry outbreak. It also had worldwide reach, compromising a similarly broad range of organisations at high speed.
Speaking about the latest attack, PwC Ireland Cyber Leader Pat Moran said: "This ransomware is slightly different, applying a multi-level approach. It encrypts the master boot record of the machine when run as admin, and when run as a normal user it encrypts specific files on the system. It also uses several different methods to ensure that it affects as many machines as possible."
Leonard McAuliffe, Director of PwC Ireland Cyber Centre, said: "Executives should ensure that desktop and server IT operations teams are provided with all the support they need to rapidly deploy Microsoft’s April and May critical security updates, along with March’s MS17-010 security update.
"Executives should also understand that IT operations teams, on the recommendation of their security team, may need to cause temporary disruption to some services on IT estates as additional controls are implemented and vulnerable services disabled."
Ensure your IT teams have taken action to, or develop plans to:
Ensure that individual user systems and key servers can be restored rapidly from backups, and that the frequency of backups aligns to the timeframe of data your organisation is prepared to lose in the event of any system being rendered unusable.
Ensure that there are formal procedures in which employees and those responsible for the management of high priority incidents are well versed to streamline the organisation’s reaction to ransomware events and its ability to restore service to employees and customers.
Prevent ransomware entering your IT environment through the most common delivery vector, phishing, by enforcing strong controls at your email gateways and network perimeters, and developing vigilant employees through robust awareness campaigns.
The vulnerabilities exploited in this attack have already been addressed via Microsoft ‘critical’ patches released in March, as well as this week, and a robust vulnerability management programme will help reduce the likelihood of exploitation.
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