Speed Cameras in Australia Suffered Cyber Attack

Media Division | June 22, 2017

There are many different types of systems, networks, and infrastructure that continue to be targeted by cyber attacks. One of the most widespread cyber attacks seen recently was the WannaCry campaign that hit organizations on every continent in the world. Since that large-scale attack, separate WannaCry attacks have been popping up around the globe as well. In one of these, many speed and red light cameras in Victoria, Australia were hit by the ransomware strain.

How the Infection Occurred

According to a report from Radio 3AW, around 50 of the cameras were affected by the attack and resulted in them freezing on Thursday morning. Though there appears to be mixed information, as another report states that all cameras are still online, the accuracy has not been affected, and any notices of infringement will remain. It appears that the malware had compromised RedFlex, which is the private operator of the cameras. RedFlex actually operates a large majority of the cameras within the state. The company had declined to comment on the incident, but a Road Safety Camera Commissioner spokeswoman had said that there was no official notification of an attack. The Herald Sun had stated that the cameras were infected by way of an infected USB, which was mistakenly introduced by a contractor. Apparently, the virus had been discovered last week and a system patch was introduced to block the spread of it, with the department currently working to remove it from the systems.

The Spread of WannaCry

As mentioned above, WannaCry has continued to frequently surface even after the global attack last month. There have been numerous varied strains of the malware surfacing for over a year. A large contributing factor is that since the global attack, there are likely many different copycats who are employing the malware for their own purposes. It is actually quite simple to prevent this type of malware, as it can generally be addressed through OS upgrades. WannaCry affects outdated versions of Windows, such as XP and Server 2003. Those who upgrade to the modern versions will likely find themselves much more protected. Of course, there is also the factor of ensuring that proper security tools and implements are in place.

Implementation of Thorough Security to Prevent Cyber Attacks

As attacks like WannaCry and a multitude of others continue to target organizations of all types, there needs to be much more focus on proper cyber security. Many organizations are still relying on basic defensive methods like antivirus and firewalls. Of course, these are still vital components of security, but they cannot handle the job by themselves. Contemporary threats have become much more adept at circumventing traditional reactive security methods. This is why it is now necessary to have basic implementations, as well as proactive defenses in place to actually prevent cyber attacks. Many actors need to be predicted and prevented through tools like threat intelligence and cyber security monitoring. Otherwise, an organization may quickly find themselves blindsided by a skilled attacker. Neglecting the implementation of more advanced security implements is unacceptable. Some organizations may use the excuse of financial burden, but in reality, cyber security is an investment. A single cyber attack of magnitude can cause much further damage and financial loss than investing in comprehensive security. Massive Alliance can provide an organization with a multitude of security tools and services to help them prevent cyber attacks.

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