Ransomware Cyber attack threat escalating: Europol

Ransomware Cyber attack threat escalating: Europol

Ransomware Cyber attack threat escalating: Europol

The virus displays messages demanding a payment of 300 dollars in virtual currency Bitcoin to unlock files and return them to the user.

STAFF battled to take up the slack at the North Middlesex University Hospital after scores of ambulances were diverted there and trauma patients admitted following a major national cyber attack.

"In particular, making sure that our data is properly backed up and making sure that we are using the software patches, the anti-virus patches, that are sent out regularly by manufacturers".

China is also set to implement a tougher new cyber security law from June 1, created to strengthen critical infrastructure, even as many global tech firms and lobbies say that its cyber rules skew the playing field against foreign firms.

The initial ransom demand was $300 per machine. "We haven't seen anything like this since Conficker in 2008", Amit Nath, Head of Asia Pacific-Corporate Business at cyber security firm F-Secure Corporation, told IANS. Europol also warned a "complex global investigation" was required "to identify the culprits". Carmaker Renault was France's first company to be affected by the ransomware while Portugal Telecom and a local authority in Sweden also faced a similar fate.

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An official from Cybersecurity Administration China (CAC) said the ransomware had affected industry and government computer systems but the spread was slowing.

The computer can be infected by taking advantage of a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) released a security patch for in March and computers that hadn't updated were still at risk.

Microsoft's top lawyer is laying some of the blame for Friday's massive cyber attack at the feet of the U.S. government.

The attack was one of the largest ransomware attacks in history. "This is not targeted at the NHS", British Prime Minister Theresa May was quoted as saying in BBC.

Symantec said the majority of organisations affected were in Europe. Hacking group or groups were yet to claim responsibility for the attack. "The growth rate of infected institutions on Monday has slowed significantly compared to the previous two days", said Chinese Internet security company Qihoo 360. So even people with older computers should update them. "We are actively sharing information related to this event and stand ready to lend technical support and assistance as needed to our partners, both in the United States and internationally", the department said.

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