Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.
Online Security, Tech News 19th May 2017 649

Ransomware Sends Clear Message: Take Steps To Stop Hackers

Well, what a week. If anyone did not know what ransomware was, they do now.

Not to mention that the infection hit some very big name organisations, including Fedex in the US, Telefonica in Spain, Hitachi in Japan and our own NHS.

German train operator Deutsche Bahn even found the WannaCry message which demanded money appeared on the huge departure board screens at its stations.

Most worrying still is the news that it could have been far worse.

A 22-year-old cybersecurity whizz from Devon stopped the WannaCry virus stone dead in its tracks by triggering its kill switch, an obscure facility built deep in some of its code by an original writer to stop its spread.

Probably, the criminals using it did not even know that switch was there.

It worked by having the bug check if an obscure domain name existed before moving on to new targets.

Once that domain name was registered, it was game over, but only for the time being.

The culprits have not been identified, and unless they are they can remove the switch and start again.

Elsewhere, step by step guides for hackers to roll their own ransomware have been found on YouTube this week and other ransomware code for hackers to play with has been readily on sale on the ‘dark web’ for some time.

The message for us all has been broadcast widely this week, but bears repeating.

Run up-to-date anti-virus software, keep copies of Windows up to date, ensure your system is regularly backed up and avoid suspicious links and websites.

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.

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