Beijing braces for WannaCry 2.0

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/14 23:33:40

Mutated ransomware has overridden kill switch.

Beijing authorities announced on Sunday that they have detected a new
mutated version of the malicious ransomware WannaCry, and have urged
all departments to take measures to prevent attacks.

The malware was first detected on Friday, and has so far affected
institutions in more than 100 countries.

Beijing Cyberspace Administration, Beijing Public Security Bureau and
the Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology jointly
issued a notice on Sunday,saying that the mutated version, dubbed
WannaCry 2.0, has managed to override its previous kill switch and can
no longer be prevented from spreading. It is likely to spread faster,
reported qianlong.com, a news portal affiliated with the Beijing municipal
Party committee.

The notice urged departments to take measures to stop the virus attack,
including updating operating systems and disconnecting affected computers
from the Internet.

There was concern about the level of potential attacks from new versions
that would hit on Monday morning, the BBC reported.

WannaCry, a new type of “worm” ransomware virus, broke out on Friday
evening. Europe’s police agency, Europol, called the attack “unprecedented,”
and warned a complex international investigation was needed to identify
the culprits. The virus took control of users’ files, demanding payments.

According to a release by the China National Petroleum Cooperation on Sunday,
the company has recovered more than 80 percent of its network. The virus
affected gas stations, preventing customers from using cards to pay, but
now the company is recovering payments for gas filling cards, bank cards
and third-party payments.

The virus has affected several thousands of computers from 29,372 domestic
agencies. Among them, 4,341 education research agencies were the worst hit,
said a report from the Threat Intelligence Center of the leading Chinese
anti-virus software firm Qihu 360 on Sunday.

The report said that East China’s Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces are the most
affected regions in China. Affected agencies cover universities, train stations,
post offices, hospitals and government terminals, and the number is on the rise.

WannaCry is believed to use the EternalBlue exploit, which was developed by
the US National Security Agency to attack computers running Microsoft Windows
operating systems.

The virus poses serious challenges to international collaboration and demands
a buildup of a cyberspace security community, Qin An, director of the China
Institute of Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global Times.

Network weapons deployed by the US government have served as a core factor of
the virus rampage, which again reminds the world of the great harm the US’
network hegemony and its network weapons can bring about, Qin noted.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of upholding cyberspace
sovereignty, calling on all nations not to engage in “Internet hegemony.”

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