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26 May 2017 6:13
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  •   Home > News > Technology

    WannaCry ramsomware is appearing in obscure places after global cyber attack

    You don't need to be sitting in front of a computer to come face-to-face with the ransomware at the centre of a global attack — you might just be paying for parking or walking into your apartment building.

    You don't need to be sitting in front of a computer to come face-to-face with the WannaCry worm — you might simply be paying for parking or walking into your apartment building.

    , attention was focused on Britain where the malware infected hospital networks and brought wards and procedures to a halt.

    But the ransomware was stopping people in their tracks elsewhere in the world, and popping up in rather unexpected places.

    People started posting their discoveries on Twitter.

    The lobby

    Andrew Tinits from Waterloo Canada discovered a screen in his building's lobby had been infected by the ransomware.

    A billboard in Thailand

    Parking machines in UK and Netherlands

    The UK branch of European parking provider Q-Park confirmed its pay machines and website had been impacted by the ransomware attack.

    There were also reports their systems in the Netherlands had been affected, preventing people from paying for their parking and causing mini traffic jams inside carparks.

    Trains stations in Germany

    German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said on Saturday its systems were infected by the attack.

    It said train services were not disrupted but some electronic boards at stations were affected including this one at Chemnitz.

    Billboards and pay stations are easy targets

    The host of information security podcast RiskyBusiness, Patrick Gray, explained that billboards, parking pay stations and hospital devices get cleaned up in attacks like this because they are often unmanaged and unmanned.

    "Those types of systems just don't tend to get updated. They get installed then people forget about them," he said.

    Normally this type of malware attacks computer systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in browsers, but because there's no-one using these systems to browse the internet they go unscathed, Gray explained.

    "What's different in this case is that we've had a computer worm unleashed," He said.

    "A lot of this ransomware stuff is normally semi-automated, this is fully automated. So once it gets to one computer it will try and get to other computers all by itself."

    The worm accesses internal networks through cracks and latches onto vulnerable systems, in this case ones with older versions of Microsoft Windows embedded, that have not been updated with the latest security patches.

    Basically, the ransomware does not discriminate — any device, big or small, with a retired version of Windows running can be infected, especially if it's connected to a larger, vulnerable network like the ones supporting organisations like Q-Park, Deutsche Bahn and the .


    © 2017 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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