WELCOME !

THANK YOU FOR VISITING THIS SITE. I HAVE BEEN USING BOTH SWAHILI AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE TO EXPRESS ISSUES - I HAVE ATTACHED ENGLISH VERSION TO SOME OF THE SWAHILI NEWS/STORY AT THE END.

Monday, 21 May 2018

RISING SHIELD AGAINST RANSOMWARE ATTACKS



IN BRIEF: Both Atlanta’s network and Roseburg schools suffered with Ransomware attacks recently. These are two examples among many ransomware attacks facing organisations across the globe. This writing will provide three basics advise on how individual and organisations can fight against ransomware attacks.
--------------------------------------------

Early this year 2018, Secureworks published a report titled “SamSam Ransomware Campaigns,” which noted that the recent attacks involving SamSam have been opportunistic, lucrative and impacted a wide range of organizations.

On March 22 this year (2018), The city of Atlanta (GA) employees were ordered to turn off their computers to stop a virus from spreading through the network and encrypting data. A cybercriminal group demanded that the city pay it about $51,000 in bitcoins — a crypto currency that allows for anonymous transactions online.

Federal agents advise the city not to pay ransomware because paying will not be an assurance of the solution to the city’s problem – The city then refuses to pay ransom to cybercriminals.



Following the attack, the city hired Secureworks, a Dell subsidiary, who has emerged as an early authority on the cyber-criminal group, “Gold Lowell.” That group is being blamed for a rash of cyber-attacks involving a variant of SamSam, the type of ransomware that struck Atlanta.


The total cost of the attack has yet to be calculated. But emergency contracts posted on the city’s procurement website have a combined not-to-exceed amount of about $5 million – Said Chief Operating Officer, Richard Cox.

The City is ongoing recovery from a ransomware cyber-attack – the municipal court is the only department whose computers haven’t been brought back online. “We are in testing right now,” Cox said, adding that he expects them to be operational in about 10 days.


The other accident took place in ROSEBURG, Ore – The Roseburg Public School's computer system suffered a ransomware attack happened earlier this month, freezing access to the district's email system, website and business and accounting software.

District officials say employee information was not accessed, but they don't know how much data they'll be able to get back.

"They don't hold out a lot of hope that they will be able to prosecute them, and they made it very clear to us that they couldn't help us recover our data," said Gerry Washburn, the Roseburg Schools Superintendent.

The FBI advised the district not to pay the ransom to recover the data. The district regained access to its email this week and plans to have to website back up as early as next week.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now investigating the incident.



ADVISE: IMPROVING CYBERSECURITY.

There are number of things one can put in place in the name of improving cybersecurity – I will emphasize on three among many as follows.

Regularly update your operating system

Your operating system or OS is central command for your desktop, laptop, or smartphone. It’s the Captain Kirk of your devices. Unsurprisingly, it’s a prime target for hackers. Access to your OS means cyberthieves “have the conn” to your computer. They can download, install, and otherwise exploit your workstations. Taking control is how hackers steal your data.

Regularly updating your OS applies critical security fixes to your Windows, Mac, or Linux software. Make your work life easier by setting up automatic updates to your OS. With this simple adjustment to your work habits, you’ll “boldly go where no one has gone before” with your cybersecurity skills.

Get antivirus software – From reputable sources.

You can do the most to protect your employer by installing antivirus software, which protects work devices from phishing emails, spyware, botnets, and other harmful malware. But first, talk to your employer about getting comprehensive cybersecurity solution. For your personal devices, consider getting your own antivirus software. Most major antivirus brands offer free downloads of basic plans.

Just like any of your work projects, cybersecurity is a team effort that needs everyone to contribute. These five cybersecurity tips for the workplace are just a jumping-off point for your overall improvement. You now have the basics covered. Expand your cybersecurity arsenal with additional cybersecurity tips and online resources. Make sure you’re doing your part and everyone at work will benefit



Back up your data regularly

Ransomware is on the rise, affecting businesses of every size and type. Enterprising cybercriminals hack into computers, encrypt the data inside, and hold it for ransom. It’s a lucrative practice that costs employers millions every year. But regularly backing up your employer’s data takes away the profit incentive.

Use both a physical and cloud-based drive for backups. If one drive is hacked, you’ll have the other available. Most backups to the cloud sync your data automatically and let you choose which folders to upload. Talk with your employer about which files need to be backed up and which can remain locally stored. Set up a regular maintenance schedule to review your backup plans.