The media is filled with reports of a new cyber-attack, this time named Petya.  It rapidly became clear that this Petya attack could equal or surpasss the May WannCry attack.

The authors of this ransomware have learned from the past.  The current outbreak of Petya can be spread to unpatched systems via the same exploit at WannaCry, but it can also achieve lateral movement to infected patched systems on connected networks using Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line and PsExec.

Petya encrypts the master boot record and the master file table on infected hosts.  One of the unique aspects is that it can work even if a system is offline.  It does not require a live connection to command and control the server. It moves around and propagates by scanning the transmission control protocol port to identify and target machines that use unpatched versions of the server message block.

What we know so far about Petya, is it is vital to stay current with IT security, you need to keep up with the latest patches and be alert to emerging threats. Patching all endpoints can be a complex, time consuming and often costly and which can be overtaken by more pressing concerns. Unpatched systems will continue to be targeted, and keeping ahead of the cyber criminals is one task that no organization can afford to take lightly.

What you need to know…

Once on the system, Petya copies itself to the c:\windows\directory and installs a PE file in the c:\windows\dllhost.dat.  The ransomware uses schtasks to create a task file that will reboot the system at a scheduled time.  Many companies will be tempted to pay the ransom to get their systems back online.  You need to address network segmentation and backups so that in the future, if systems are locked up, they can be taken offline and restored quickly.

We recommend you:

  • Ensure systems are patched and all antivirus programs are up to date
  • Determine if backup systems are effectively configured.
  • Restore only from secure backups
  • Isolate any unpatched systems to prevent lateral movement of Petya
  • Verify effective monitoring of all critical systems and networks.

Schedule a consultation to ensure you are protected.

If you liked this blog, you also might like:  Threat Intelligence – A Sight for Sore Eyes

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