Cyber-attack: Europol says it was unprecedented in scale

Alain Brian
Mai 15, 2017

"It's paused but it's going to happen again".

He added: 'We have stopped this one, but there will be another one coming and it will not be stoppable by us. Ransoms paid so far amount to only tens of thousands of dollars, one analyst said, but he predicted they would rise. WannaCry exploited a vulnerability to spread itself across networks, a rare and powerful feature that caused infections to surge on Friday.

Code for exploiting that bug, which is known as "Eternal Blue", was released on the internet in March by a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers. The agency has not responded to requests for comment.

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.

Britain's National Cyber Security Center said it could have been much worse if not for a young cybersecurity researcher who helped to halt its spread by accidentally activating a skill switch in the malicious software.

"It's all hands on deck", said Shane Shook, an independent security consultant whose customers include large corporations and governments.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cyber security company F-Secure, told AFP it was the biggest ransomware outbreak in history, saying that 130,000 systems in more than 100 countries had been affected.

The U.S. government on Saturday issued a technical alert with advice on how to protect against the attacks, asking victims to report attacks to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Department of Homeland Security.

Some reports say Russian Federation has seen more infections than any other country.

Lord Paddick, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman and a former Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner, said Ms Rudd was "more suited to the era of analogue". Short of paying, options for these individuals and companies are usually limited to recovering data files from a backup, if available, or living without them.

"The expensive part is the clean up of the machine and restoring the encrypted data", he said.

Renault on Saturday said it had halted manufacturing at plants in Sandouville, France, and Romania to prevent the spread of ransomware in its systems.

In the United Kingdom, critics said the government had known about the threat of a cyber attack for some time, but hospitals had not made the right upgrades to protect themselves. Payments were demanded for access to be restored.

In Asia, some hospitals, schools, universities and other institutions were affected, though the full extent of the damage is not yet known due to the weekend.

They also said that the remaining equipment has also been patched. "We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible", a FedEx statement said.

His move may have saved governments and companies millions of dollars and slowed the outbreak before US -based computers were more widely infected. Portugal Telecom and Telefonica Argentina both said they were also targeted.

Europol described the cyber-attack as "unprecedented" and said its cyber-crime team was working with affected countries to "mitigate the threat and assist victims".

In a major cyber attack, almost hundred countries, including India, were hit which experts said was carried out with the help of "cyber weapons" stolen from the US National Security Agency.

Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven rich countries were to commit on Saturday to joining forces to fight the growing threat of worldwide cyber attacks, according to a draft statement of a meeting they are holding in Italy.

'The response has in fact been very good, ' she said.

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