Government yesterday confirmed that the Gibraltar Government IT Systems had not been affected by the weekend’s world-wide Wannacryransomwarecyber attack.
Whilst Gibraltar was closely monitoring the events surrounding the attack which began last Friday a Government statement said there had as yet been no reports of any Gibraltar-based systems having been affected by this latest attack and which is said to have exploited a vulnerability in the Windows operating systems.
“Although a patch for this vulnerability is said to have been released by Microsoft in March of this year, many systems may not have had this update installed,” said the statement.
Since Friday dozens of countries have been hit by this “unprecedented”cyber attack at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies across the world. Yesterday, it spread to thousands more computers as people across Asia logged in at work, disrupting businesses, schools, hospitals and daily life.
But no new large-scale outbreaks was reported, and British officials said a feared second wave of infections had not materialised. The new infections were largely in Asia, which had been closed for business when the malware first struck.
The malware, known as “WannaCry,” paralysed computers running factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems, hitting 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries.
The extortion attack, which locked up computers and held users’ files for ransom, is now believed to be the biggest of its kind ever recorded, disrupting services in nations as diverse as the US, Russia, Ukraine, Spain and India. In particular, it targeted various sectors across the United Kingdom, where agencies continue to work and cooperate closely to investigate the attacks and restore services to those affected areas.
Meanwhile Europol, the European Union’s police agency, described the onslaught as “an unprecedented level and would require a complex international investigation to identify the culprits”.
LAST WEEK FAILURE
The Government confirmed to the Chronicle yesterday that last week’s incident had ben as a result of a hardware failure and had no connect to this global incident.
“We would like to stress that there is absolutely no correlation between last week’s incident and this weekend’s global cyber-attack,” said a spokesman.
Locally the Royal Gibraltar Police and HMGoG’s Information, Technology and Logistics Department (ITLD) continue to communicate with each other regularly, and have already reached out to local industry partners through the issuing of preventative advice.
Attacks of this nature, particularly on critical services, said the Government statement, can have a significant impact on individuals.
It was important it advised for organisations and individuals alike to ensure that they: Do not click on links or open any attachments received in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. (Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it appear like one used by someone you trust. If in doubt, always check the email header (or contact the person separately).
To always install software updates as soon as they become available, no matter how inconvenient this might sometimes seem. Whether an update is for the operating system (ie Windows) or an application, an update can contain fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
To create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. Note that it is important that the device you backup to is not left in an insecure location, or linked to the same network your main machines are connected to.
The Government statement added that there were various online resources that provide useful advice on how to protect your data, devices, what to do if/when infected with ransomware and access to unlocking tools and that once such resource is the “No More Ransomware” project, a free online resource developed by the European Cybercrime Centre and industry partners, and which can be found at: https://www.nomoreransom.org/ Further updates and advice on these attacks may also be issued from time to time in the form of press notices or via social media channels: HM Government of Gibraltar: Twitter @GibraltarGov Facebook: