WANNACRY: Who’s at fault? You?


This weekend a lot of people got hit, and hit hard… Surgeries were canceled, businesses crippled, and ransoms paid. The notion of the NSA having such an exploit at its disposal does not shock me, it does not scare me, nor do I find it inappropriate.  The NSA had a weapon of war…

I know this maybe a strange position coming from someone who’s passionate about security; however, there’s a scary reality that most security practitioners fail to realize. The world is at war… During WW2 everyone knew we were at war, it was evident, and undeniable. Today we’ve entered a new type of war, one that’s just starting to produce human casualties, and the casualties will get worse.

It’s reported that over 100,000 systems were infected over the past weekend but why? A patch was released a month in advance of this exploit.

You may say: “my maintenance windows will not allow me to patch!”

and you may be right, but that doesn’t exonerate businesses from blame. When lives are one the line maintenance windows can be changed.

Sadly, most companies failed to implement the known workarounds

Workaround 1: Disable SMBv1

This may or may not be plausible based on your application requirements

Workaround 2: Block SMB ports from untrusted systems (including the Internet)

Certainly possible, and recommended for well over a decade…

The disappointing thing about this infection rate is that these changes required no product, nothing to purchase, only the knowledge and will to build and manage infrastructure properly. If you’re office building was in the middle of Syria, would you leave locks on your doors that are known to be defective for a month? Wouldn’t you at least close if not bar your windows? Of course, you would. We MUST take the same precautions in our cyber landscapes.

We can no longer afford to think of cybercrime as an “annoyance”. We are amid a global war, it’s a war like we’ve never seen as citizens, but one we MUST prepare for. Governments will never stop building weapons of war, but it’s all our duties to prepare to the best of our abilities for when those weapons fall into the wrong hands.

How is your organization preparing?

Originally posted on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/wannacry-whos-fault-you-steven-aiello


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