Friday saw the launch of a massive global cyber attack that affects at least 100 countries. The attack was in the form of malware that held computer systems and data ransom. In Great Britain, it affected their national health program, causing many cancellations of surgeries, doctor appointments and hospital stays. In other nations, it affected the national telephone system. The hardest hit counties were Great Britain and Russia.
An unprecedented global “ransomware” attack has hit at least 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, Europe’s police agency said Sunday — and predicted that more damage may be seen Monday as people return to work and switch on their computers.
The attack that began Friday is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, spreading chaos by locking computers that run Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies, factories and government agencies worldwide.
Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, told Sky News that it was now important that IT departments checked their systems on Monday morning to ensure they had not been compromised…
Fortunately, two computer experts discovered code in the malware that acted like a kill switch, ending the danger of the malware. However, they fear that the criminals using the malware will delete the kill switch code making it much harder or nearly impossible for anyone to stop it without paying the ransom.