BBC: Europol Says Cyber-Attack Was Unprecedented in Scale

Tens of thousands of computer systems in 99 nations were attacked with ransomware, including those of utilities, banks, universities, manufacturers, government agencies and Britain’s National Health Service. “Although the spread of the malware – known as WannaCry and variants of that name – appears to have slowed, the threat is not yet over,” reports BBC News. The program demanded a $300 payment in order to restore files, stopping work at places with infected computers. Reports suggest that computers are infected by a ransomware worm– reported to have been developed by the US National Security Agency to take advantage of a vulnerability in Windows software and later released by hackers. The worm, spread by users clicking on pdf links, also automatically replicates and spreads among networks. Microsoft distributed a fix in March for newest versions of Windows and will now extend that for older systems. Many businesses and governments rely on older computer systems, customized for specific task and fully capable. A UK researcher discovered a kill switch by registering a web address that the worm is searching for, but warned the fix is only temporary. – YaleGlobal

BBC: Europol Says Cyber-Attack Was Unprecedented in Scale

Malware WannaCry reveals vulnerability of computer networks, and disregard by operating-system and software makers for customers that rely on older versions
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Copyright © 2017 BBC.

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