Lucky break slows cyberattack; what's coming could be worse

Lucky break slows cyberattack; what's coming could be worse

Experts suggested Saturday that the ransomware's progress had been halted, but new attacks could soon follow.

U.S. software firm Symantec said the majority of organisations affected were in Europe, and the attack was believed to be indiscriminate.

Carmaker Renault was France's first company to be affected by the ransomware while Portugal Telecom and a local authority in Sweden also faced a similar fate.

Australia's Cyber Security Minister, Dan Tehan, says the government has received reports of the private sector being impacted, but not Commonwealth organisations.

Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab detected that variants of a malware called "WannaCry" were used that encrypted the files.

More than 75,000 similar attacks reportedly happened in nearly 100 countries, with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan hardest hit, according to the cybersecurity firm Avast.

The NHS has said hospitals have had to cancel some outpatient appointments because of the attack.

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

Images appeared on victims' screens demanding payment of $300 (275 euros) in Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!" The malware spreads through email.

Individuals and organisations were discouraged from paying the ransom, as it was not guaranteed that the access would be restored. The ransomware spreads easily when it encounters unpatched or outdated software. He said the situation was under control.

Ransomware installs on a victim's computer when a user clicks on a malicious link in a "phishing" email (or an email created to trick the user into thinking that it is from a known or legitimate source).

According to a TOI news report, this cyber attack was carried out using a malware called Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry.

As CBS News' Jonathan Vigliotti reported, the virtual attack sent the United Kingdom's National Health Care Service into emergency mode.

However, our research shows relatively small sums are being spent on cyber security since 2012, ranging from NHS Lothian's £445,000 to £125,000 by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Security wonks are calling it the biggest cyberattack ever.

The ransomware attack carried out Friday has hit some 200,000 hospitals, companies and government offices in more than 150 countries.

A 22-year-old British researcher who uses the Twitter name MalwareTech has been credited with inadvertently helping stanch the spread of the assault by identifying the web domain for the hackers' "kill switch" - a way of disabling the malware.

Critically ill patients are being diverted to unaffected hospitals as computer systems failed in Accidents & Emergency (A&E) units and doctors were locked out of test results, X- rays and patient records.

'There has been one incident of the ransomware hitting a business here in Australia and there could be two other incidents where it has occurred although we are trying to confirm that, ' he said. The government said that 48 of the NHS' 248 organizations were affected, but by Saturday evening all but six were back to normal.

Who was behind the attack? It has been suspected for some time now that the malware came from a cache of hacking tools reportedly stolen by hacking group Shadow Brokers from the NSA and leaked on the internet. "Today we see the cost".

Europol, the European Union's police agency, said the onslaught was at "an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits".

Dr Krishna Chinthapalli, a neurology registrar at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, had warned that an increasing number of hospitals could be shut down by ransomware attacks in an article on the vulnerability of the NHS network in the "British Medical Journal" on Wednesday, two days before the major cyber-hack.

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