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Cyber security experts warn public to update software following ransomware attack

20 Mai 2017

The cyberattack, which began in London on Friday morning, has so far affected 150 countries and locked 200,000 computers.

The UK government has insisted that the NHS had been repeatedly warned about the cyber threat to its IT systems, with Defence Secretary Michael Fallon stating 50 million pounds was being spent on NHS systems to improve their security.

Previous year an acute-care hospital in Hollywood paid $17000 (R226526) in bitcoin to an extortionist who hijacked its computer systems and forced doctors and staff to revert to pen and paper for record-keeping.

The revelation came as UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed today that as many as 48 NHS trusts had been affected by the large-scale cyber-hack by an worldwide criminal gang wreaked havoc around the country.

On Sunday night, Microsoft slammed the USA spy agency that had originally developed software that allowed the ransomware attack to infect computers.

Around a fifth of NHS trusts were hit in the attack, forcing them to postpone operations and procedures over the weekend.

How did the attack spread worldwide?

"Once a machine is infected it will scan the entire internal network and infect other vulnerable machines".

The U.S. security firm Symantec said the attack appeared to be indiscriminate.

Government agencies said they were unaffected.

Security experts said his move bought precious time for organizations seeking to block the attacks. In the letter they warned that "computer hardware and software that can no longer be supported should be replaced as a matter of urgency" and insisted that "more can be done to protect against potential risks".

A contract with Microsoft to update Windows XP security patches had been allowed to expire in 2015. "You're only safe if you patch as soon as possible", he tweeted.

"That's what makes this more troubling than ransomware was a week ago", Mr Thakur said.

How much ransom was asked?

Hackers wanted their payment in the virtual currency Bitcoin, which is harder to trace.

"Fortunately, the hospitals daily data backup had just been completed".

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. 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.

Cyber security experts warn public to update software following ransomware attack