Friday December 13, 2019
Home Lead Story Ransomware At...

Ransomware Attack Cripples US City of Baltimore

The city officials have said that they would not pay the ransom demand. The IT department is trying to overcome the situation

0
//

A ransomware attack has crippled the US city of Baltimore that has brought all of its email and online payment gateways to a standstill. The hackers are demanding $76,280 in exchange for freeing all the city’s systems.

The tool that has paralysed the city is a National Security Agency creation called “EternalBlue”, which has been used in other high-profile cyber attacks including “Wannacry” in May 2017, The Verge reported on Saturday.

Security experts suggest that hackers used “EternalBlue” to exploit a vulnerability in some versions of Windows XP and Vista systems, allowing an external party to execute remote commands on their target.

According to The Baltimore Sun, a ransom note left on a Baltimore city computer identified the ransomware as RobbinHood and demanded a payment of three Bitcoins (equivalent to $17,600 at current prices) per system, or 13 Bitcoins (worth $76,280) to re-store the entire city’s systems.

“We won’t talk more, all we know is money! Hurry up!” the note read.

Cyber attack has effected millions of people globally. Wikimedia Commons
Cyber attack has effected millions of people globally. Wikimedia Commons

In April 2017, the tool was leaked by hacking group The ShadowBrokers and within a day Microsoft had released a patch to fix the exploit.

However, just patching a system does not mean total closure of vulnerabilities.

Since May 7, Baltimore residents have been dealing with the cyber attack. All of their systems are shut, hindering bill payments and day-to-day expenditures.

Also Read- E-commerce Giant Amazon Brings Announcement Feature to all Alexa-compatible Devices

The city officials have said that they would not pay the ransom demand. The IT department is trying to overcome the situation.

The city has begun to implement some workarounds, manually processing real estate transactions and setting up a Gmail system for city workers which Google initially shut down but has since restored, the report added. (IANS)

Next Story

US Government Begins Probe into Google Over its Labour Practices

"Four of our colleagues took a stand and organised for a better workplace. This is explicitly condoned in Google's Code of Conduct, which ends: 'And remember... don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right -- speak up.' When they did, Google retaliated against them," the employee activist group wrote in the blog post

0
Google Search Engine
Google Logo. Pixabay

The US government has launched a probe into Google over its labour practices following a complaint from four employees who have been fired by the tech giant.

The four workers who filed a lawsuit against the company last week, claimed they were fired from Google for engaging in legally protected labour organizing, reports CNN Business.

The National Labor Relations Board has begun a formal probe into the complaint.

The tech giant has been accused of “union busting” and retaliatory behaviour after it sacked four employees for allegedly violating the company’s data security policies.

In a statement, Google said it dismissed four individuals who were engaged in intentional and often repeated violations of its longstanding data security policies.

Google
US begins probe into Google’s labour practices. Pixabay

“No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities,” said the company on Monday.

Google is in the midst of controversy over its strained relationship with employees.

In an earlier blog post on Medium, an employee activist group, “Google Walkout for Real Change”, said that the company is illegally retaliating against prospective union organisers.

Also Read: Cricket Icon Mahendra Singh Dhoni to Back Show on Army Officers

“Four of our colleagues took a stand and organised for a better workplace. This is explicitly condoned in Google’s Code of Conduct, which ends: ‘And remember… don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right — speak up.’ When they did, Google retaliated against them,” the employee activist group wrote in the blog post.

The new CEO of Alphabet Sundar Pichai faces extreme challenges as Google stares at several high-profile external probes into its alleged anti-trust market and data practices — from the US to the European Union regulators — including internal tensions with staff over discrimination at work and HR transparency. (IANS)