Ransomware attacks are a world-wide problem

Ransomware attack - MF Communications

Ransomware cyber attacks hit companies and government organisations across the globe at the end of last week.

The attacks first hit NHS hospitals across Britain, where a virus encrypted computers files, followed by a demand to de-code them, with payment  in bitcoin.

Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan were the worst hit by the attacks. In Russia, there were unconfirmed reports the attacks had hit police computers in several regions and two of the country’s biggest mobile phone and electronics retailers.

By mid afternoon on Friday, 36,000 attacks of the malware, called WannaCry or WannaCry 2,had been recorded around the globe. Malware security companies detected attacks in Spain, the Philippines, and Kazakhstan, Turkey, Vietnam, Germany, Indonesia, and Japan.

MalwareTech, a company that tracks cyber attacks, said its Botnet Tracking Servers had picked up over 38,000 attacks in dozens of countries around the world, with Europe, the United States, and China heavily affected.

The ransomware hit Telefónica, Spain’s leading telecom company, around midday on Friday, causing operators’ computer screens to turn blue.

Access to files became impossible and a demand for a ransom of $300 to be paid in bitcoins flashed up on screens at Telefónica’s headquarters in northern Madrid. The message said the amount would increase after May 15 and a few days later the files destroyed.

22 year old, Marcus Hutchins, a self-taught cyber expert from Devon, managed to stop the malware attack from spreading further by accidentally triggering a ‘kill switch’.

Hutchins, who works from his bedroom at his parents’ home, took just a few hours to take down the virus. He did this by purchasing a web domain for £8 and re-directing it elsewhere.

He is now working with the government’s National Cyber Security Centre to prevent a new strain of the malicious software.

Security risks in the telecoms industry

Toll fraud is the most common and costly security problem in the telecommunications industry. 84% of UK Business is Vulnerable to Toll Fraud Hacking.

Whether you have analogue, digital or IP business telephone systems, hackers can target your PBX system/IP PBX business telephone systems, causing you stress and your company thousands of pounds, even possible bankruptcy.

MF Communications offers customised toll fraud protection to best suit your business needs and requirements.

ECR – Exceptional Call Reporting – monitors call traffic of VoIP, SIP or fully hosted systems, at set, predetermined thresholds.

MF Communications can also add Toll Fraud Software to NEC phone systems. This works in a similar way to ECR, but also gives the option of adding destinations and times rather than cost as the parameters.

For peace of mind, and to find out more about how MF Communications can help you put security measures in place to guard against future toll fraud attacks, please email us for more information or call 01892 514687 and ask to speak to one of our UK business consultants.