June 26 2017

100000 groups in 150 nations hit by cyberattack

June 26 2017, 12:08 | Irvin Gilbert

The so-called WannaCry ransomware locks access to user files and demands money - in the form of the virtual currency Bitcoin - in order to decrypt them.

In 2016, Motherboard reported hospitals across the United Kingdom run old, outdated Windows systems - legacy technology that no longer receives updates. I am anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn on their machines on Monday morning.

More than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries have so far been infected, according to the European Union's law enforcement agency.

But Europol head Rob Wainwright said he was concerned that the number affected would continue to rise when people returned to work on Monday morning. "The ransomware virus is such lethal and smart that "it also drops a file named '!Please Read Me!.txt" which contains the text explaining what has happened (to the computer) and how to pay the ransom".

US President Donald Trump has ordered his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, to hold an emergency meeting to assess the threat posed by the global computer ransomware attack. The ransomware was created to repeatedly contact an unregistered domain in its code.

The was virus stopped late Friday by a 22-year-old British researcher who uses the Twitter handle MalwareTech.

CYBER security is being stepped up across Scotland after the NHS ransomware attack as cops work to catch the hackers.

He said most people "are living an online life", and these agencies have a duty to protect their countries' citizens in that realm as well.

But he also said he's concerned the authors of the malware could re-release it without a kill switch or with a better one, or that copycats could mimic the attack.

Mr Hunt has not publicly responded to the attack, but Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the priority was to "disrupt" it.

The US Treasury Department said it will play a "leading role" in protecting the global financial system's IT infrastructure.

Europol's Wainwright underscored the point Sunday.

In light of Friday's attacks, Microsoft announced that it's making the fixes free to all. WannaCry appears to travel across corporate networks, spreading quickly through file-sharing systems.

"It seems a lot like the actors responsible for this are fairly amateur because of the implementation that they used for the kill switch", Huss told CNN. "Remarkably few payments" had so far been made in response to this attack, he added.

In a blog post Saturday, MalwareTech explained he learned on Friday that networks across Britain's health system had been hit by ransomware, tipping him off that "this was something big".

Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, in a letter to Mr Hunt, said concerns were repeatedly flagged about outdated computer systems and the lack of investment in modern computer systems.

Krishna said that while financial institutions, telcos and large corporates that have stringent security practices will be safe, their branch networks in far flung areas or small and medium businesses may be hit. State media reported that digital payment systems at some gas stations were offline, forcing customers to pay cash.

Nissan: The carmaker said in a statement that "some Nissan entities were recently targeted" but "there has been no major impact on our business".

Indeed, while FedEx Corp. reported that its Windows computers were "experiencing interference" from malware - it wouldn't say if it had been hit by the ransomware - other impacts in the USA were not readily apparent on Saturday. Ankush Johar, director at, a phishing protection company, added that India will be among the top three worst-hit countries. Russia's health ministry said its attacks were "effectively repelled". Russian Interior Ministry, which runs the national police, said the problem had been "localized" with no information compromised.

When CNNTech first reported the Microsoft vulnerabilities leaked in April, Hickey said they were the "most damaging" he'd seen in several years, and warned that businesses would be most at risk. With ransomware, criminals typically trick individuals into opening an email attachment containing malicious software. Here's how to turn automatic updates on.

The hack appears to have originally been discovered by the NSA, which allegedly kept it on file as a potential tool to use for surveillance or other issues.

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