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WannaCry Ransomware Hits Australian Traffic Camera System

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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The spread of WannaCry appears to not be slowing down anytime soon

WannaCry ransomware continues its trail of chaos generation after it infects traffic cameras in Victorian, Australia. 

The ransomware has managed to work its way into 55 cameras including red light cameras designed to capture images of drivers jumping red lights at highway intersections, and speed monitoring cameras. 

According to Australian broadcaster 3AW, the traffic cameras, which are run by private camera operator Redflex, are reported to be yup and running by Victoria’s Department of Justice and Regulation. 

“A system patch has been applied, which prevents the spread of the virus,” spokesperson from the department told 3AW.

“The department is in the process of removing the virus from the affected cameras. The remaining sites will be rectified in the next couple of days.

“The software virus has not impacted the accuracy of the camera system. All infringements during this period have been captured correctly, and no infringements have been affected by the virus.”

The infection has been attributed to human error when an infected USB drive was plugged into the camera system’s computers, as opposed to a direct and targeted attack. 

As such, it appears that the WannaCry infection has yet to wreak any havoc, but there is likely potential for it to cause problems if it had not been detected.. 

WannaCry spreads 

wannacryWhile there are ways to bypass and mitigate the impact of WannaCry, discovered by a lone cyber security expert, the spread of the ransomware does not appear to be going away. 

WannaCry caused a major IT upset for many NHS hospitals when it first made an appearance a few weeks ago, but its latest high-profile target has been a Honda plant where the ransomware caused the factory to be shutdown

What is your biggest cybersecurity concern?

  • Ransomware (28%)
  • Humans / Social Engineering (27%)
  • State sponsored hackers (14%)
  • Malware (14%)
  • Other (7%)
  • Out of date tools (6%)
  • DDoS (4%)

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North Korea has been blames for the WannaCry attacks, which the nation is reportedly using to make money for its totalitarian regime. The nation has refuted such accusations but the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre is currently investigation the attack and its origins. 

And it does not look like the threat of ransomware is going away anytime soon, particularly as British businesses have suffered a barrage of ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2017

Quiz: Test your knowledge on cyber security in 2017