Massive ransomware attack hits 74 countries

48000 ransomware attack attempts seen in India Quick Heal Tech

48000 ransomware attack attempts seen in India Quick Heal Tech

Cybersecurity tracking websites say up to 100 countries now appear to have been hit by the malware.

Geographical target distribution of the WannaCry ransomware attack for the first few hours of the attack on May 12, 2017, according to Kapersky security firm.

- "The malware was made available online on 14 April through a dump by a group called Shadow Brokers, which claimed previous year to have stolen a cache of "cyber weapons" from the National Security Agency (NSA)". The exploit targeted Microsoft Windows, however the company said it had released a patch in March for the exploit.

"It's important to understand that while unpatched Windows computers exposing their SMB services can be remotely attacked with the "EternalBlue" exploit and infected by the WannaCry ransomware, the lack of existence of this vulnerability doesn't really prevent the ransomware component from working".

"We should be prepared: more hospitals will nearly certainly be shut down by ransomware this year", Chinthapalli said.

It was not immediately clear how many other countries were affected.

It started with United Kingdom hospitals and has since spread to over 14 countries - the WannaCry ransomware was holding millions of files hostage unless companies or governments pay up.

In Spain, the largest telecommunications company reportedly would have had to pay close to $550,000 to unlock all the encrypted computers hit on its network.

Health officials offered no indication of when services might return to normal, or whether patient records could be permanently lost to the attack. In other words, it asks you for a "ransom" before it will let you access your files again. "Sure. We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily". The demand would double after three days, or data would be destroyed.

The National Health Service (NHS) said 16 organizations had been affected by the cyber attack but said it had not been specifically targeted.

Other health-care centers, meanwhile, turned off their computers to avoid potential infiltration. But there's no evidence so far that patient data has been accessed, NHS Digital said. But the basic business of hospitals was being thrown into turmoil. This could become one of the biggest cyber attacks in history.

The attackers who shut down Britain's National Health Service have demanded $300 worth of the online currency Bitcoin. "Once a transfer has been made, it's final".

Ransomware is a program that gets into your computer, either by clicking on or downloading the wrong thing, and then it holds something you need to ransom. Once a victim has been successfully attacked, their choices are limited.

Prime Minister Theresa May said it wasn't just Britain. "The only options are to wipe the machines and move on or to pay the ransom". "Nevertheless, the presence of this vulnerability appears to be the most significant factor that caused the outbreak", the post adds.

Nigel Inkster, former director of operations and intelligence for MI6, told Sky News that one of the reasons the NHS in particular was vulnerable was its outdated software system.

The police have also briefed the Ministry of Health as a precaution. He's a neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.

The attack affected emergency services in some locations, and patients were urged to avoid visits to the emergency room unless absolutely necessary.

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of the GCHQ spy agency, and the National Crime Agency said they were investigating.

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