Four-star hotel and ski-resort in Australia paid a reported $1,600 ransom to regain control of its computer system during a fully booked weekend. The systems were kicked offline which temporarily interfered with room keys and guest check in among other things. This ransom marks the third attack on the hotel system, but the first time full control was taken. This may be why the hotel opted to pay the bitcoin rather than mess with the situation any further. Rather than risk losing revenue and fully restricting guests from checking in or out of their rooms the hotel worked with the hackers. Cheaper and faster said the hotel representative.
“Neither police nor insurance help you in this case,” Brandstaetter lamented to The Local. “The restoration of our system after the first attack in summer has cost us several thousand euros. We did not get any money from the insurance so far because none of those to blame could be found.” – PCmag
This is not the first time that a company has had to make the difficult decision whether or not to pay the bitcoin and risk losing that money as well as their data, or not paying the bitcoin, and risk total lockout of the system. IBM Security ran a study that found 70 percent of businesses attacked and infected with ransomware have paid the dollar to regain access to their systems and or data.
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Microsoft freaked out many tech pros, announcing that February patches would be delayed till Tuesday, March 14th, because of a “last minute issue”.
Tech professionals often plan such patching schedules and prefer to know in advance when major vendors are set to release the next patch, since they are most likely deploying these across thousands of workstations and servers.
February was also the first month that Microsoft was set to publish information on patches and vulnerabilities on the new Security Updates Guide portal (rather than in Security Bulletins) but that will have to wait till March.
Many were expecting a remedy for the unpatched Windows SMB bug as well in the February update bundle.
Word on the street is that Microsoft was having trouble with its patch build system. Microsoft has been very hush hush about the reason for the delay.
If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.zdnet.com
Windows as a service means less control for IT professionals. Faster upgrade cycles, single rollup patching, and no more service packs.
Aggressive upgrade cycles means that you can no longer deploy a version of windows and stick with it for 5 or 7 years. The upgrade cycle has shortened dramatically to about 18 months. Now feature updates can be deferred but only for a certain amount of time, and never refused entirely.
Windows 10 Pro was released in February 2016, six months later the Anniversary update (version 1607) was released to the Current Branch (CB) and in November 2016 to the Current Branch for Business (CBB). Business versions are able to defer updates for eight months. Therefore, not even a year and a half later in July 2017, you will be forced to upgrade to version 1607 or later.
The version 1607 tightens the group policy timeline down from eight months to 180 days, with a 60 day grace period at the end. It is expected that businesses will have to upgrade each PC in their organization once a year, which can be difficult for those small business without IT staff, since upgrades often break the functionality with third party applications.
It use to be that patches could be selected, rather than with the new upgrade model that rolls all patches into one. This essentially is forcing the PC to the same base configuration as needed for the new rollup. IT professionals can no longer pick and choose, and uninstall problematic updates. The only option is to delay the update a number of weeks until the next rollup. But this also means delaying critical security fixes as well.
No more service packs means that rolling back an OEM device to factory configuration entails getting it to the latest feature update then installing another large update to get it to current.
If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post, or to view the original content please visit: www.zdnet.com