Australia Affected By Global Ransomware Attacks
By Cameron Abbott and Ling Zhu
Despite Australia seemingly avoiding the brunt of the attacks by the WannaCry ransomware crippling computer systems around the world last month, a few Australian organisations have not emerged unscathed.
Victoria Police has revealed 280 speed cameras around Victoria were exposed to WannaCry between June 6 and June 22. Although the cameras were not connected to the internet, the ransomware was unintentionally introduced to the system through a USB device during maintenance. The police reported that the ransomware caused the cameras to continually reboot, however it is unclear whether this resulted in inaccurate readings. Initially, only 55 speed and red-light cameras were thought to be infected, however that has since increased to 280 cameras. Subsequently, 1,673 infringement tickets will be withdrawn, with another 5,500 pending tickets to be embargoed. Now don’t get excited and start drag racing – the police intend to continue operating the cameras, with embargoed and new tickets to be issued once they confirm that cameras are taking accurate readings.
Meanwhile in Hobart, Cadbury chocolate factory has stopped production following its parent company, Mondelez International, being affected by the similar “Petya” ransomware. The US-based Mondelez International suffered a global IT outage overnight, with all network computers being infected. Australian workers were unable to begin production in the Cadbury factory on June 28, as many processes are automated and controlled by computers. It is uncertain when the global system will be restored.
Now speed cameras is one thing, but affecting chocolate production is way out of line!
A reminder that both WannaCry and Petya exploit vulnerabilities that have been patched – you just have to load those security releases. A call out to all the chocolate producers of the world – load your patches for the sake of us all!