Worldwide Ransomware Attack Cripples Computers in 100 Countries
This article comes from PJ Media
by Rick Moran
Hackers initiated a ransomware attack yesterday that infected thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries, including hospitals and other key infrastructure systems. Experts are calling it one of the largest cyber attacks in history.
The cyber criminals used part of a malicious code that was reportedly developed by the U.S. National Security Agency and published online last month by a previously unknown group called “The Shadow Brokers.”
Cyber extortionists tricked victims into opening malicious malware attachments to spam emails that appeared to contain invoices, job offers, security warnings and other legitimate files.
The ransomware encrypted data on the computers, demanding payments of $300 to $600 to restore access. Security researchers said they observed some victims paying via the digital currency bitcoin, though they did not know what percent had given in to the extortionists.
Researchers with security software maker Avast said they had observed 57,000 infections in 99 countries, with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan the top targets.
Some experts said the threat had receded for now, in part because a British-based researcher, who declined to give his name, registered a domain that he noticed the malware was trying to connect to, limiting the worm’s spread.