Cyber systems and LockerGoga
Horace C. White
Modern Tokyo Times
LockerGoga: Are manufacturing companies under threat?
I.T.-based companies around the world are investing a sizable fraction of their revenues in building formidable cyber defense systems against viruses. For many of them, devoting a huge sum of their revenues to upgrading their firewalls and antivirus software has become an annual ritual. Today, their concerted efforts are increasingly making all the difference in cyber defense.
Yet, while these organizations continue to celebrate their well-deserved victories, a lot of work in protecting cyber systems still needs to be done. There is no doubt that cybercriminals continuously experiment and unleash new malware to achieve their criminalistic goals. As a result, the world is now waking up to the threat of ransomware constantly invading cyberspace. The latest in the series of viruses that have hit the world stage is LockerGoga.
LockerGoga is horrendous ransomware that has become a new scourge within the industrial, cyberspace realm. Today, this malware is wrecking scores of manufacturing companies around the globe. From French engineering consulting firm Altran, Norwegian aluminum manufacturing firm Norsk Hydro, Ohio-based chemical company Hexicon, to New York-based chemical company Momentive, LockerGoga continues to leave catastrophic consequences on the cyber networks it infects. The Modern Tokyo Times has gathered that when the malware attacks computer systems, it leaves the Windows operating system (OS) with a blue screen of death together with an error message. Consequently, the computer system becomes difficult to access once infected by LockerGoga.
Founded in 2002, Texas-based SaaS (Software as a Service) firm Alert Logic has become more popular – thanks to LockerGoga. According to media reports, the researchers at Alert Logic discovered that the ransomware is a bug that is located in the subroutine which is automatically executed before the kickoff of an encryption process. However, LockerGoga, these experts state, crashes and halts the encryption process whenever it encounters a shortcut (LNK) file that has an invalid path. Discovered by security research expert MalwareHunterTeam, LockerGoga is relatively rare unlike more popular malware such as Ryuk and SamSam.
Impact of LockerGoga
Indeed, LockerGoga has become a source of worry for many industries in the United States and elsewhere in the world due to its destructive tendencies. Aside from its destructive effects, LockerGoga, cybersecurity experts say, locks out the users of various computers systems, and shuts down the system completely.
Given that the ransomware is spreading at an alarming rate, LockerGoga initially infected the computer network of Altran. Obviously, it didn’t have to consult with the experts at the French consulting firm before attacking yet another company. As the ripple continues to spread across the board, it slammed Norsk Hydro. When the virus hit the Norwegian firm, it compelled the company to switch to manual operations. In sum, the manufacturing firm never foresaw the impact of LockerGoga before its nasty attack. The impact of the malware on Momentive and Hexion was overwhelming as it shut workers out of their computer systems.
The CEO of Momentive, Jack Boss, sent a memo to the staffers of the company, giving more insight into the extent of LockerGoga’s damage. In the email, CEO Boss pointed out that the damage was very destructive so much so that it requires the attention of “SWAT teams” to contain. To remedy the incident, Boss wrote that the company has decided to create new email accounts for the workers because the compromised accounts remain inaccessible, due to the sinister impact of LockerGoga.
In a nutshell, LockerGoga is wreaking havoc on cyber systems, and it must end now.
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