Security & Fraud

WannaCry Hits Russian Postal Service, Delivers Misery

WannaCry hit a new target this past week, and this time around the Russian postal service has been hobbled a bit, with some computers still not functioning in the wake of the attack. As Reuters noted, the continued impact of the cyberattack has been one that has made Russia “a major victim” of hacking across several industries.

The reported attack comes as other institutions were hit by the virus, among them the Interior Ministry and railway systems. In those cases, as has been seen elsewhere around the globe, the ransomware locked people out of their computers and also demanded ransom payments of $300 to $600 to allow data access again (the ransomware was a fizzle, as many did not pay up and hackers got only several thousands of dollars in payouts). In sporadic instances, Russian banks were also impacted.

All told, 20 percent of the 300,000 computers impacted globally were housed within Russia, and outdated software made systems across several verticals especially vulnerable to attacks.

“Many companies in Russia use outdated unpatched systems and older anti-malware solutions,” one source, Nikolay Grebennikov, who serves as vice president at Acronis, a data protection company, said. “In big companies, upgrades are hard to perform and avoided because of budget and scale.” Data supplied by trade group BSA Software Alliance has estimated that 64 percent of software housed in Russia has been pirated.

The Russian mail ops, said Reuters, employs 350,000 workers and according to one unidentified worker, “the head guys rang on Thursday and said we had to turn off the terminals immediately. They said this extortion virus had infected them.”

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