Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Europol Reports More than 200000 Affected by Cuber Attack

Kayla Schwartz | 16 May, 2017, 08:18

Reports indicate the cyber attack has affected more than 200,000 organizations in about 150 countries.

Friday's "unprecedented" ransomware cyberattack has hit as many as 200,000 victims in over 150 countries, Rob Wainwright, the head of European Union police agency Europol said on Sunday.

Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion attack Friday that locked up computers and held users' files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies.

The virus exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software first identified by the US National Security Agency, experts have said.

The effects were felt across the globe, with Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the USA and French carmaker Renault all reporting disruptions.

The minister assisting the PM on cyber security, Dan Tehan, told the ABC ransomware attacks cost the Australian economy an estimated $1 billion every year.

The effects were felt across the globe, with Britain's National Health Service, Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the US and French carmaker Renault all reporting disruptions.

He said it was unclear so far how it had started but ransomware generally spread via a few different methods.

"It was early morning Saturday for us, and that meant the bulk of us weren't at our keyboards", the prime minister's cyber security adviser Alastair MacGibbon said.

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"The fact that so many computers remained vulnerable two months after the release of a patch illustrates this aspect", Smith wrote Sunday.

Senior security staff held another meeting in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency were trying to identify the perpetrators of the massive cyber attack, said the official, who spoke on condition on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

According to the reports, in England 48 National Health Service (NHS) trusts reported problems at hospitals, GP surgeries or pharmacies, and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were also affected.

The world's biggest ransomware attack levelled off overnight after wreaking havoc in 150 countries, as Russian President Vladimir Putin called it payback for the U.S. intelligence services.

A GLOBAL cyber attack that has struck computers across Europe and Asia is believed to have infected its first Australian business, the federal government says.

Secondly, people must update their systems.

'It's an global attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected, ' British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

The primary steps you can take to avoid the ransomware affecting your own personal devices are to be on guard for suspicious emails and don't click on any links or download any suspicious attachments.

Ryan Kalember, senior vice president at Proofpoint Inc., which helped stop its spread, said the version without a kill switch could spread. The other is to disable a type of software that connects computers to printers and faxes, which the virus exploits, O'Leary added. The ransomware attackers have already received roughly $32,500 in bitcoin as of 7 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

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