Ransomware: Wave of cyberattacks sweeps the globe

Ransomware: Wave of cyberattacks sweeps the globe

Ransomware: Wave of cyberattacks sweeps the globe

The most disruptive attacks were reported in Britain, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers on Friday. The computers all appeared to be hit with the same ransomware, and similar ransom messages demanding about $300 to unlock their data.

A cyber attack which hit Britain's National Health Service (NHS) was declared as a major incident Friday night, with British Prime Minister Theresa May saying it was an worldwide attack.

NHS Digital said in a statement: "The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor".

Details of patient records and appointment schedules, as well as internal phone lines and emails, have all been rendered inaccessible. Here is a list of all of the services that we know to have been affected.

Many researchers say the incidents appear to be linked, but say it may not be a coordinated attack on specific targets, BBC News reported. The group said it has recorded more than 45,000 attacks from the ransomware program from 74 countries around the world.

A worldwide ransomware campaign using a stolen NSA hacking tool is now underway, consisting of more than 45,000 attacks in 74 countries, including the crippling of Britain's main healthcare system, Spain's Telefonica and Russia's MegaFon, according to global media reports and Kaspersky Lab.

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Pictures posted on social media showed screens of NHS computers with images demanding payment of 300 USA dollars worth of the online currency Bitcoin, threatening to delete files within seven days.

The hacking tool, which is a type of ransomware that encrypts data so users can not access it, was spread through an email on Friday affecting computers in the UK, Japan, Turkey, Russia, Philippines, and Vietnam.

It said its hospitals had shut down all computer systems as a protective measure and canceled all non-urgent activity.

The Shadow Brokers released Eternal Blue as part of a trove of hacking tools that they said belonged to the USA spy agency. Still, the news prompted security teams at large financial services firms and businesses around the world to review their plans for defending against ransomware attacks, according to executives with private cyber security firms. Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan were the top targets, it said.

The attack has locked computers and blocked access to patient files.

"So far it's not yet clear when exactly the infected machines were compromised, but quite probably it's a very recent large-scale phishing attack targeting hospitals with ransomware", Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of web security firm High-Tech Bridge, said in a statement.

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In a statement, the NHS said: "A number of NHS organizations have reported to NHS Digital that they have been affected by a ransomware attack which is affecting a number of different organizations".

Several British hospitals say they are having major computer problems Hospitals in London, northwest En.

NHS Incident Director Anne Rainsberry urged the British public to "use the NHS wisely while we deal with this major incident which is still ongoing".

It's frustrating that attacks like this continue to victimize unprepared systems, said Ron Culler, CTO of managed security services provider, Secure Designs Inc.

Kalember says it is spreading rapidly, making it hard to identify "patient zero" and attribute the attack to a particular hacker group.

Some Russian media also have reported cyberattacks on the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee. "They said they started the system again".

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Although cyber extortion cases have been rising for several years, they have to date affected small-to-mid sized organisations, disrupting services provided by hospitals, police departments, public transport systems and utilities in the United States and Europe.

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