Ransomware Attack Disrupts U.S. News Media Outlets

Christopher Draven, Client Experience at Umbrella Managed Systems

Everyone is at risk…even the news.

What Happened

Over the holiday weekend, news broke that the Tribune News company had been hit by a serious Ransomware attack – impacting the printing of several newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and several more.

The attack interrupted the printing, and thus the delivery, of newspapers to tens of thousands of subscribers. Initial reports, which are unconfirmed, point to the use of Ryuk Ransomware; a strain indirectly linked to North Korea. Regardless of its origin, $640,000 of ransom has been paid to hackers using this cyber attack.

The Threat Evolves

Ransomware is a real threat. Successfully protecting your company is as much about preventative measures as it is about having a plan in place in case a breach occurs. In the case of this attack, Check Point Research, a leading cyber threat intelligence group, released a detailed analysis of Ryuk Ransomware and how it works.

These strains work by killing system processes and services and stripping back the defenses and safeguards in a system. Then the code targets specific types of files, encrypting those resources, locking out user access.

Are You Vulnerable? 

Umbrella has published several blog posts about Ransomware and other malware attacks. It always boils down to two recurring themes:

Do you provide Security Awareness training?

  • Condition users to be always on guard.
  • Conduct ongoing user training, going beyond the yearly compliance training.
  • Perform regular Security Awareness testing exercises to measure and manage a user’s behavior.

Is your Network properly managed?

  • Remain up-to-date with emerging trends in cybersecurity.
  • Perform security and system updates patching.
  • Stay ‘alert’ through an always-on network and system monitoring.

Answering no to either question or missing even one component, means your business is at greater risk. Planning for the worst is how you prevent or recover from a data breach. The Umbrella ITMS 3.0 program can help your business improve system resiliency and put safeguards in place.

Want to know if you are vulnerable?  

Contact Us to schedule a Ransomware Simulation. We will run a network resiliency test to see how vulnerable your business is to the latest threats.

For more information regarding the Ryuk Ransomware strain, refer to the Check Point Research article.

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