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12 May, 2017 19:25

Mass cyberattack strikes computer systems worldwide

Mass cyberattack strikes computer systems worldwide

Tens of thousands of computers in 99 countries have been infected by a ransomware virus which extorts users by blocking Windows files and demanding payment to restore access.

  • 14 May 2017

    10:23 GMT

    The cyberattack has hit some 200,000 victims in over 150 countries, Europol Director Rob Wainwright told ITV.

    “The global reach is unprecedented. The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, and those victims, many of those will be businesses, including large corporations,” he said.

    “At the moment, we are in the face of an escalating threat. The numbers are going up; I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn [on] their machines on Monday morning,” he added.

  • 10:05 GMT

    The UK is spending 50 million pounds ($64 million) to improve the cybersecurity of NHS computer networks, Defence Minister Michael Fallon told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

    “We set aside 1.9 billion pounds to protect us better against cyber, and a large chunk of that went to the NHS,” the official said.

    “We are spending around 50 million pounds on the NHS cyber systems to improve their security, we’ve encouraged the NHS trusts to reduce their exposure to the weakest system, the Windows XP... and there is money available to strengthen these systems.”

  • 09:37 GMT

    The WannaCry attack infection has spread to some 126,000 computers in 104 countries, cybersecurity firm Avast has reported. Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan appear to be the countries most affected by the ransomware, with 57 percent of the infection reports coming from Russia.

  • 13 May 2017

    15:37 GMT

    A young cybersecurity researcher has been credited with helping to halt the spread of the global ransomware cyberattack by accidentally activating a so-called "kill switch" in the malicious software. The Guardian newspaper reported Saturday that the 22-year-old Britain-based researcher, identified online only as MalwareTech, found that the software's spread could be stopped by registering a garbled domain name.  The paper quoted the researcher as saying: "This is not over. The attackers will realize how we stooped it, they'll change the code and then they'll start again." He urged Windows users to update their systems and reboot. (The Associated Press)

  • 13:51 GMT

    Romanian car manufacturer Dacia, owned by French company Renault, said that some of its production had been hit by the WannaCry global ransomware cyberattack that has affected computers in almost 100 countries, Reuters reports. “Part of Dacia’s production in Mioveni has been affected by disfunctionalities of IT systems and some employees were sent back home,” the carmaker said in a statement. “The measure was taken to prevent extending the disfunctions, which at first glance are a consequence of the global cyber attack.”

  • 13:10 GMT

    The UK government still hasn't discovered the perpetrators of the attack, or the pattern according to which it spread.

    "We're not able to tell you who's behind the attack. That work is still ongoing," Home Secretary Amber Rudd told BBC Radio. "The virus feels random in terms of where it's gone to and where it's been opened."

  • 12:28 GMT

  • 11:49 GMT

    Deutsche Bahn, a German railway company, has confirmed on Twitter that it fell victim to the massive cyberattack.

    “Trojan [malware]: train traffic hasn’t been affected. Some electronic boards at stations [announcing arrivals/departures] have been affected,” it said in a statement.

  • 11:43 GMT

    Computer networks of the German government were not affected during the cyberattack, the country’s interior ministry tweeted. 

  • 10:28 GMT

    At least two of Indonesia's major hospitals have been struck in the "ransomware" cyber attack that infected computers globally, a government official said on Saturday. Dharmais Hospital and Harapan Kita Hospital in Jakarta are affected by the ransomware, said Semuel Pangerapan, a director general at Indonesia's Communication and Information Ministry. "Efforts to localise the infected server are underway to prevent (the ransomware) from spreading," he said, adding that his ministry was working with other authorities, including the Health Ministry, to solve the problem. (Reuters)