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Cyber attack: 200000 victims hit in 150 countries

19 Mai 2017

The instigators of the virus demanded computer owners pay $300 to $600 in Bitcoin to retrieve their encrypted data.

Global financial and economic losses from the "WannaCry" attack that crippled computers in at least 150 countries could swell into the billions of dollars, making it one of the most damaging incidents involving so-called ransomware. Contact law enforcement and seek the assistance of data-recovery experts.

Who was behind the attack?

NZ cyber security officials say they'll be staying vigilant with the working week starting tomorrow.

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. With data decryption usually priced in the hundreds of dollars, many organizations find it easier to pay and move on; the leading cybersecurity firm Trend Micro recently researched United Kingdom organizations who have received ransomware in the past two years and found that nearly two-thirds of those it surveyed paid the ransom.

Hospitals, major companies and government offices were among those that were badly affected.

Experts advise people not to pay, as it would only encourage the attackers, there is no guarantee that they will unblock files, and may result in them gaining access to victims' bank details.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, at a meeting in Italy, said Saturday the attack was a reminder of the importance of cybersecurity.

Europol's Wainwright underscored the point Sunday.

Once inside an organization, WannaCry uses a Windows vulnerability purportedly identified by the NSA and later leaked to the internet.

Since the attack, Microsoft has responded to the seriousness of the situation by issuing security updates to older versions of Windows that are normally unsupported.

"Paying the ransom does not guarantee the encrypted files will be released", the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's computer emergency-response team said. "But what we do know is the malware attacked the vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that Microsoft had released a patch to fix several months ago", Burley, a professor of human and organizational learning at George Washington University told Fox News. But experts say that hackers behind WannaCry are overloaded with decryption requests - in fact, many users who have paid the ransom are still waiting for their computer access to be restored.

Europol said Saturday that the attack was of an "unprecedented level and requires global investigation".

Usually the payment is made in the form of Bitcoins.

WannaCry has already caused massive disruption around the globe.

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

"Just patch their systems as soon as possible", MalwareTech said. It said less than 1% of computers were affected, and that the virus was now "localized" and being destroyed. However, the immediate preventive measure before any more ransomware attacks emerge is upgrade all Windows systems, said the security firm.

Thousands more infections were reported Monday in Asia, which had been closed for business when the malware first hit Friday. With ransomware, criminals typically trick individuals into opening an email attachment containing malicious software.

Cyber attack: 200000 victims hit in 150 countries