Cyber attack: Ransomware and all you need to know about its dangers

May 15 16:15 2017

Since Friday’s breach more than 200,000 victims – including the NHS – across 150 countries have been infected by the Wanna Decryptor ransomware, also known as WannaCry.

Hackers in China tried to seize control of the “kill switch” used to prevent numerous WannaCry ransomware attacks that have been causing chaos across the world.

Speaking to ITV News, the Director of Europol, Rob Wainwright said: “We’ve seen the extent to which the ransomware, which had its infection rates slowed down over the weekend, now mutated by the cyber crime groups behind it”.

“At the moment we are in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up, I am anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning”.

Europol, the European Union’s policing agency, said the attack remains an “escalating threat” whose numbers “are still going up” after a brief slowdown on Friday.

However, Wainwright said Europol was working on the basis that the cyber-attack was carried out by criminals rather than terrorists, but noted that “remarkably few” payments had been made so far.

The WannaCrypt ransomware has spread globally, blocking victims from accessing their PC’s data unless they pay a ransom.

WannaCry uses a vulnerability in old versions of Windows that was originally discovered and exploited by the U.S. National Security Agency as an offensive cyber-weapon.

Britain’s National Cyber Security Center says teams are working “round the clock” to restore hospital computer systems after a global cyberattack that hit dozens of countries forced British hospitals to cancel and delay treatment for patients.

Russian Railways: State media said a virus attacked the IT system of Russian Railways, but it did not affect operations due to a prompt response.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s cyber security adviser, Alastair MacGibbon, said on Sunday there had been one confirmed incident in Australia, but warned it was likely more computer systems would eventually be hit. Shadow Brokers said that they obtained it from a secret NSA server.

Computer systems in the county’s GP surgeries are now switched off so the virus can be dealt with. We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits.

Dr Rainsberry said: “We have also been offering advice and assistance to GP surgeries, who will open as usual tomorrow”.

‘Because this would be nowhere near the worldwide spread and depth of attack if people had run the updates that Microsoft had provided in March‘.

Britain’s state-run National Health Service was affected by the attack.

Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts data on your computer, then asks for payment in return for decryption.

It’s not the first time hackers have used the leaked NSA tools to infect computers.

The 22-year-old British cyber researcher who found the kill switch said he was now looking into a possible second wave of attacks.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un

Cyber attack: Ransomware and all you need to know about its dangers
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