WannaCry ransomware: Singapore's critical infrastructure unaffected, says CSA

WannaCry ransomware: Singapore's critical infrastructure unaffected, says CSA

02:36
Known as WannaCry, the ransomware exploits known vulnerabilities in old Microsoft operating systems. Cyber security experts cautioned that more machines could be affected by the virus as people around the world returned to work at the start of a new week. 

SINGAPORE: Singapore's critical information infrastructure (CII) remained unaffected by the global hacking attacks that affected governments and large organisations elsewhere, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) said on Monday (May 15).

Known as WannaCry, the ransomware exploits known vulnerabilities in old Microsoft operating systems. Cyber security experts cautioned that more machines could be affected by the virus as people around the world returned to work at the start of a new week. 

"As of this afternoon, no critical information infrastructure has been affected," said Dan Yock Hau, director of Singapore's National Cyber Incident Response Centre, which is a unit of the CSA.

Mr Dan added that the unit would continue to track the situation closely and that it was working with the CII sectors to monitor their state of readiness.

"We are also tracking other sources of intelligence and have reached out to offer assistance to those (cases) that were brought to our attention," he said.

Electronic signboards in malls like Tiong Bahru Plaza and White Sands and as well as a Desigual outlet at Orchard Central have been hit. Jerry Tng of cyber security firm Ivanti, noted that the signboards likely ran on systems that had not been updated with the latest security patches.

A ransomware message encountered by a Facebook user on a directory screen at Tiong Bahru Plaza on Saturday (May 13).  

"There are many unpatched signages and point-of-sales (terminals) running embedded Windows OS," Mr Tng said, referring to a version of the Microsoft operating system that is designed for use in embedded systems.

Cyber security researchers elsewhere have likewise drawn attention to the difficulty of patching such devices, which could include medical devices such as those used by hospitals in Britain that were affected by last Friday's cyber attack.

"CSA’s National Cyber Security Monitoring Centre also monitors the developing global situation and track the technical indicators to assess the potential implication to Singapore so that we are able to work on the necessary responses and measures to take," Mr Dan said on Monday.

​CSA chief executive David Koh said: "This is an issue of national importance and we will take all the necessary measures to counter the spread of the ransomware and help businesses and members of the public prevent or recover from it as quickly as possible."

In a separate media release, CSA said that internet service providers Singtel and Starhub had set up helplines for their customers. Singtel customers can call 1688 and its SME customers can call 1606. StarHub's SME customers can call 1800 888-8888, which operates from 9am to 6pm on Mondays to Fridays. Its residential customers can call its 24-hour hotline at 1633.

Businesses and members of the public can also refer to SingCERT’s advisory on WannaCry or seek help from SingCERT by contacting singcert@csa.gov.sg or 6323 5052.

Source: CNA/dt

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