IT

200000 cyberattack victims in 150-plus states: Europol

200000 cyberattack victims in 150-plus states: Europol

A Jakarta hospital said on Sunday that the cyber attack had infected 400 computers, disrupting the registration of patients and finding records.

Britain's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) announced that the cyber specialist, known as Malware Tech, prevented further spreading of the ransomware by registering a domain name.

Europol said a special task force at its European Cybercrime Centre was "specially created to assist in such investigations and will play an important role in supporting the investigation".

The WannaCry ransomware attack, which was launched last Friday, had a relatively minimal impact on NHS Forth Valley with only three GP practices and one dental practice affected. It demands users pay United States dollars 300 worth of cryptocurrency Bitcoin to retrieve their files, though it warns that the payment will be raised after a certain amount of time.

But experts and government alike warn against ceding to the hackers' demands.

Jakub Kroustek, a malware researcher with Avast, a security software company in the Czech Republic, said in a blog post that Russian Federation was the most affected country so far.

Experts and officials offered differing estimates of the scope of the attacks, but all agreed it was huge.

And more local computer systems are expected to be hit.

Microsoft distributed a patch two months ago that could have forestalled much of the attack, but in many organizations it was likely lost among the blizzard of updates and patches that large corporations and governments strain to manage.

"We have been concerned for some time".

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.

"We're in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up", he said, and added that the current attack was unprecedented.

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Telecommunications company Telefonica was among the targets in Spain. In this May 12, 2017, photo, a display panel with an error can be seen at the main railway station in Chemnitz, Germany.

On Sunday, Chinese media reported that students at several universities were hit by the virus, which blocked access to their thesis papers and their dissertation presentations.

The indiscriminate attack, which began Friday, struck banks, hospitals and government agencies in more than 150 countries, exploiting known vulnerabilities in old Microsoft computer operating systems.

"When any technique is shown to be effective, there are nearly always copycats", said Steve Grobman, chief technology officer of McAfee, a security company in Santa Clara, California. News.com.au reported the minister told reporters in Cairns that the challenge was that there were various instances of ransomware in Australia every week and authorities were now seeking to confirm whether these are the same thing that hit the United Kingdom.

In a tweet on Saturday, the anonymous cyber specialist/researcher acknowledged that he initially did not know that his action would help stop the malware. "Now I should probably sleep".

In this case, he said, the NSA apparently handed the WannaCry makers a blueprint - pre-written code for exploiting the flaw, allowing the attackers to essentially cut and paste that code into their own malware.

The Nissan auto plant in Sunderland is still suffering from issues caused by the ransomware attack which forced vehicle production to a halt on Friday night.

Meanwhile G7 finance ministers meeting in Italy vowed to unite against cyber crime, as it represented a growing threat to their economies and should be tackled as a priority.

The attack hit Britain's National Health Service particularly hard, causing widespread disruptions and interrupting medical procedures across hospitals in England and Scotland.

"There will be lessons to learn from what appears to be the biggest criminal cyber-attack in history", Interior minister Amber Rudd said.

Hundreds of hospitals and clinics in the British National Health Service were infected on Friday, forcing them to send patients to other facilities.


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