Saturday, 13 May 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 13-5-2017

Bloody hell … !

Have you been following the news?

If you have, you’ll have seen the news that quite a lot of NHS Trusts have been hit by a major ransomware attack.

That, so far, has affected systems in ninety-nine different counties.

There’s a story behind it.

It seems the code the attack used?   Was based on an exploit released by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers: and that was originally written or developed by the USA’s National Security Agency.

And one that Microsoft issued a patch for, in March.

The problems seem to have affected PCs running versions of Windows from Vista, up to Windows 8.1, that HADN’T had the software updated: and machines running Windows XP, that hadn’t been replaced and couldn’t deal with the update, anyway.

There’s possibly a lot to say about this.

I think one of the reasons this has happened?

Is simply the fact that a cash strapped NHS hasn’t been able — or has chosen not  — to update older machines with a lot of propriety software.

On grounds of cost.   

Which, of course, means it’s going to be spending a fortune.   Either on paying the ransom to free up a LOT of data, or on doing the IT dog-work to restore a lot of data from back-ups.

That’s possibly something any one who gets into government, after June 8th, will need to look at doing.

I’m ALSO thinking that the virus is just affecting Windows based PCs.

Mac fan that I am, part of me is cynically pointing out this is a good reason for large organisations to buy Apple, instead of PCs.

Realistically?   I have to admit Microsoft aren’t at fault, here: they have, after all, done their bit and got the various security updates out.

Equally as realistically?   I believe the attacks show that, yes, large organisations need a bit more diversity in the computers they used.

Companies that make business software need to make versions for as many different operating systems as possible: so large organisations can chose whatever operating systems they prefer, whether Windows, MacOS or a Linux distro.

And that IT departments, AND home users?    Need to make sure they have back-ups in place.

And keep their systems updated*.


Let’s move on, shall we?

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Olga† and Debbi‡ putting in their answers: with both scoring five out of five.

Let’s see how everyone does with today’s questions, shall we?

Here they are, along with the How To, License and video … 

Q1) 13th May is the feast of Our Lady of Fátima.   Fátima is in which European country?
Q2) The Cumberland Compact was signed: on 13th May, 1780.   The Compact was an early version of which US state’s Constitution?
Q3) 49 bodies were found by a federal highway: on 13th May, 2012.   After extensive wars between rival drug gangs.   Bodies, drug cartels and highway were in which country?
Q4) 13th May, 1922, saw the birth of actress, Bea Arthur.   In which series did she play Dorothy Zbornak?
Q5) Finally … 13th May, 1880, saw Thomas Edison test what: electric railway, lightbulbs or alternating current?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers … 

Q1) 12th May is International what Day: Nurse Day, Doctors Day or Paramedics Day?
Q2) Famously, 12th May, 2000, saw Ford confirm it would stop making cars, where: Dagenham, Warley or Galleywood?
A2) Dagenham.
Q3) The oldest university in the Americas, the National University of San Marcos, was founded: on 12th May, 1551.   Which South American country is it in?
A3) Peru.
Q4) 39 people were killed in explosions in Riyadh: on 12th May, 2003.   The bombings were carried out by whom?
A4) Al-Qaeda.
Q5) Finally … 12th May, 1952 saw Gaj Singh crowned as Maharaja: of where?
A5) Jodhpur.
Here’s a thought …
“A good idea turns every cog in your mind, making you scared of bed in case the whole machine grinds to a halt.”
Trevor Baylis, 13th May, 1937.
And, as it’s both the Eurovision final, and the birthday of Irish Euro Star, Johnny Logan, a tune … 

Today’s questions will be answered in tomorrow’s Teaser.

Have a good day.

*        According to the BBC News site, the UK’s Home Secretary has just announced she expects the NHS to start update its systems.   Good for her.   I hope the Home Office will be transferring some of its funds to the Department of Health, so the DoH can pay for those updates.

†        Octopus?   Octopus?   Not something you get in a UK Starbucks, Olga!   One of the pubs I used to work in served Calamari squid.   It lasted about five minutes!   I’m English: and, like a lot of us, if it’s not steak or cod, we’re pickier than a three-year-old!   Actually, talking of chess films?   I keep thinking I should see Innocent Moves … Given the hours, I might just have time!   (Oh, have you managed to get your security updates done, Olga?   I don’t know if you’ve been affected by the Ransom Attack, but better safe than sorry!)

‡        Yep, really, Debbi!   Like I say, I can’t think why … !   Are you all set for tonight, by the way?   Oxygen looks like it’s another good and scary episode!   I’ll be seeing it, tomorrow, as ever, but there we go.   (Oh, the ransomware attack that’s affected the NHS?   Has also hit FedEx.   Would you like to tell them to get a Mac, or should I … ?)


Olga Nunez Miret said...

Q1) Portugal
Q2) Tennessee State Constitution
Q3) Mexico
Q4) The Golden Girls
Q5) Electric railway
I hope so. I had it set to automatic updates and have malware protection too. When I was working for the NHS we still had XP and at some point, to save money, they decided to rescind their contract with Microsoft and manage all the computers themselves. Later they saw the light, but I thought it was one of the most stupid ideas ever (I'm sure they can get a good deal if they try but... Don't get me started). After much moaning at them they updated from XP but they always wanted to reinvent the wheel). Rethinking priorities comes to mind...

Debbi said...

I heard about this. I also heard from Rick that Mac users should also make sure their systems are updated. Which I do. :)

1. Portugal
2. Tennessee
3. Mexico
4. The Golden Girls
5. electric railway