EUROPOL admits stunned by scale of cyberattack

Faith Castro
May 19, 2017

Smith also called cyberattack protection a "shared responsibility" between companies and customers.

He had highlighted an incident at Papworth Hospital near Cambridge where a nurse clicked on a malicious link and malware infected her computer and started to encrypt sensitive files.

A British cyber expert was hailed an "accidental hero" after he registered a domain name that unexpectedly stopped the spread of the virus, which exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software. The tools were made public by a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers.

According to Matthew Hickey, founder of the security firm Hacker House, the attack is not surprising, and it shows many organizations do not apply updates in a timely fashion. "Expect to hear a lot more about this tomorrow morning, when users are back in their offices and might fall for phishing", said Singapore-based security researcher Christian Karam.

Consumers are also at risk. It said less than 1 percent of computers were affected, and that the virus was now "localized" and being destroyed.

A fast-moving ransomware variant has infected thousands of computers in at least 74 countries.

A number of hospitals in England and Scotland were forced to cancel procedures after dozens of NHS systems were brought down in Friday's attack. It has hit Telefonica in Spain, FedEx in the U.S and the National Health Service in the UK. So even people with older computers should go update them.

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The Nissan vehicle plant in Sunderland is still suffering from issues caused by the ransomware attack which forced auto production to a halt on Friday night.

State agencies and major companies around the world were left reeling by the attacks which blocked access to files and demanded ransom money, forcing them to shut down their computer systems. Install Microsoft's patch. 3. Note this means that the backup can't be on your computer but should be in the cloud or on an external hard drive.

"I think these hackers have to recognize that these authorities will come after them with a vengeance", Gazeley said.

The anonymous specialist, known only as MalwareTech, issued a warning that hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the kill switch.

A statement released by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on Monday said: "We can confirm that the radiology services affected by the national cyber attack at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital have been restored".

Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the United Kingdom hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out.

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