Film Festival & Library System Both Get Pwned By Hackers

It appears that 2017 is shaping up to be the year of pwnage with the two latest examples being the St Louis Public Library System and the Sundance Film Festival. First, The Guardian has details on the former: 

Libraries in St Louis have been bought to a standstill after computers in all the city’s libraries were infected with ransomware, a particularly virulent form of computer virus used to extort money from victims.

Hackers are demanding $35,000 (£28,000) to restore the system after the cyberattack, which affected 700 computers across the Missouri city’s 16 public libraries. The hackers demanded the money in electronic currency bitcoin, but, as CNN reports, the authority has refused to pay for a code that would unlock the machines.

As a result, the library authority has said it will wipe its entire computer system and rebuild it from scratch, a solution that may take weeks.

That sucks. Now over to Variety for news on the latter:

According to the festival’s Twitter account, a cyberattack forced the closure of its box office on Saturday.

All movie screenings will go on as planned, according to festival organizers.

“Our artist’s voices will be heard and the show will go on,” the festival added.

The cyberattack occurred shortly after Chelsea Handler led a Women’s March in Park City to protest the election of Donald Trump, at around noon MT. Roughly 40 minutes later, online ticketing for future shows had been restored.

It’s unclear if the attack was related to crowds in Park City, holding empowerment signs and speaking out against Trump.

Clearly this is a sign that anyone and everyone can get pwned by hackers. Thus everyone needs to make sure that their defences are in order to avoid being the next victim that I write about.

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