When VBA programs are not used properly, we can be hit by a virus
The Washington Post article The number of malware infections that could lead to ransomware attacks rose sharply in March, as hackers hit the hardest in March.
That’s despite a broad national campaign of anti-malware efforts by government, private companies and private-sector partners, the cybersecurity firm Symantec said.
The spike in infections followed the launch of a series of attacks targeting governments and their agencies that disrupted and crippled government networks in several regions.
In many cases, ransomware attacks were the result of a maliciously crafted email attachment.
The attacks also left tens of thousands of systems compromised, and left victims unable to recover data, Symantech said.
These attacks have prompted many of the top U.S. cyber security companies to announce a concerted effort to identify and remove the malware from the Internet, Symanto said.
But while the cyber security industry has been pushing the government and its partners to adopt a more aggressive approach, the issue of ransomware remains an area of debate, especially in a country with such a robust cyberdefense.
The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution this month calling on states to protect networks and users from ransomware, but it has not yet taken action to stop the spread of ransomware, according to a statement from the council’s representative to the Security Council.
“We need to work with states and civil society, as well as the private sector, to help them build stronger defenses against ransomware,” said a council spokesman, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
In its report to the council, Symante said it identified more than 500 cases of ransomware in March and noted that the number of reported infections rose to 1,872, up from 1,581 in February.
Symantek said it found some of the most recent infections from China, which the company said is believed to be behind several ransomware attacks that have hit the U.K., France and Italy.
Symanto identified that the virus is spread through a type of email attachment called an exfiltrator file, which can hide itself from the program that downloads it.
The virus can hide behind a variety of different forms of malware, including phishing emails, botnets, spear-phishing and spam emails, Symanti said.
Symante’s researchers said that some of these infections have been linked to ransomware campaigns from other countries.
The researchers also found a similar ransomware strain, dubbed Cryptowall, which was being used by the Chinese government and other entities.
The company said it’s working with law enforcement agencies in the U to prevent further spread of the virus.
In March, Symanta said it reported its first ransomware infection, which infected more than 1,000 computers and infected about 70% of them.
The ransomware was a variant of the so-called WannaCry ransomware that has infected more and more organizations worldwide.
Symanti warned that ransomware attacks have been increasing over the past year.
“Malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated and highly adaptive, and the number and scope of the ransomware campaigns is increasing,” the company wrote.
“This is causing organizations to invest significant resources into securing and protecting their networks.”
The threat from ransomware continues to grow, and Symanteca said that the average number of infections has increased to more than 5,000 each day.
The companies report comes as cybersecurity companies continue to be criticized by the White House and the intelligence community for not doing enough to protect critical infrastructure from ransomware.
Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security ordered all federal agencies to begin deploying cybersecurity teams, but some of those teams have been criticized by government officials for not having enough personnel or resources to adequately protect critical facilities.
“When we talk about cybersecurity, we have to keep it real,” White House cybersecurity adviser Joe Sullivan said in an interview.
“I’m concerned about our ability to protect the most important assets of the federal government, the critical infrastructure.”
The DHS report said that while cybersecurity is essential to our national security, the DHS report does not say how to best protect critical assets, such as the electrical grid and airports, or how to protect them from ransomware attacks.
Sullivan said the report does have recommendations that can be implemented and is awaiting an implementation plan.
But he said it is not clear that DHS will have the resources to implement them all, given the ongoing budget battles.
“The report doesn’t say exactly what we should do about cybersecurity,” he said.
“It doesn’t address the question of what is the right level of support, which is very important to the U, or whether we should go after the people who are the biggest problem in cybersecurity, like Chinese hackers.”