Medical

Cyber attack hit 200000 victims across 150 countries, says Europol chief

Cyber attack hit 200000 victims across 150 countries, says Europol chief

Soon after the leak, hackers infected thousands of vulnerable machines with a backdoor called DOUBLEPULSAR.

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

Government agencies said they were unaffected. This tool works on all versions of Windows and should be run after each restart, they advised, adding that it can be automated by modifying with Windows registry.

Students at universities in China were locked out of their work, including dissertations and thesis papers, according to Chinese media and reported by The Associated Press.

Wainwright said Europol was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the USA to track down those responsible, saying that more than one person was likely behind it.

United States package delivery giant FedEx, European vehicle factories, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, Britain's health service and Germany's Deutsche Bahn rail network were among those hit.

The phenomenon of companies failing to update their systems has been a persistent security problem for years.

The most public damage in South Korea was to cinema chain CJ CGV Co.

Security agencies have so far not been able to identify who was behind the attack. Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the US and French carmaker Renault all reported troubles.

And while other attackers might use the same flaw, such attacks will be steadily less successful as organisations patch it. Microsoft took the unusual step late Friday of making free patches available for older Windows systems, such as Windows XP from 2001.

Security experts warn there is no guarantee that access will be granted after payment.




"You are dealing with a criminal", he said.

The anonymous specialist, known only as MalwareTech, issued a warning that hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the kill switch.

The ransomware encrypts victims' files in a computer until they pay for decrypting them.

"We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself", Kalember said.

The message in the attack demanded payment of US$300 in Bitcoin within three days; if not, the ransom was to double; by the seventh day and if no ransom was paid, all the files inside the computer would be deleted, according to the spokesman.

This, he said, was allowing the "infection of one computer to quickly spread across the networks".

Ransomware is a program that gets into your computer, either by clicking on the wrong thing or downloading the wrong thing, and then it holds something you need to ransom.

The threat from the cyber attack that crippled global services "will continue to grow" as people return to work on Monday, the head of Europol warned.

"The numbers are still going up", Wainwright said.

However, security minister Ben Wallace, a Parliamentary candidate in Preston and Wyre, blamed changes under the last Labour government to stop contracting across the NHS with Microsoft, instead leaving IT up to individual trusts. A group called the Shadow Brokers exposed the bug in April when it released a bunch of hacks the National Security Agency supposedly used.


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