Cyber-attack ‘unprecedented in scale’: Europol

Dhaka,  Tue,  30 May 2017
Published : 13 May 2017, 18:45:06
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Cyber-attack ‘unprecedented in scale’: Europol

Cyber-attack ‘unprecedented in scale’: Europol
The cyber-attack that struck organisations around the world, including the NHS, was "unprecedented" in scale, Europe's police agency says, reports BBC.

Europol also warned a "complex international investigation" was required "to identify the culprits".

Ransomware encrypted data on at least 75,000 systems in 99 countries on Friday. Payments were demanded for access to be restored.

European countries, including Russia, were among the worst hit.

Although the spread of the malware - known as WannaCry and variants of that name - appears to have slowed, the threat is not yet over.

Europol said its cyber-crime team, EC3, was working closely with similar teams in the affected countries to "mitigate the threat and assist victims".

In the UK, the head of the cyber security agency said experts were "working around the clock" to restore the systems of some 45 NHS organisations in England and Scotland that were hit by the attack.

The attack left some hospitals and GPs unable to access patient data, and led to the cancellation of operations and medical appointments.

Some reports said Russia had seen more infections than any other single country. Domestic banks, the interior and health ministries, the state-owned Russian railway firm and the second largest mobile phone network were all reported to have been hit.

Russia's interior ministry said 1,000 of its computers had been infected but the virus was swiftly dealt with and no sensitive data was compromised.

In Spain, a number of large firms - including telecoms giant Telefonica, power firm Iberdrola and utility provider Gas Natural - were also hit, with reports that staff at the firms were told to turn off their computers.

People tweeted photos of affected computers including a local railway ticket machine in Germany and a university computer lab in Italy.

France's car-maker Renault was forced to stop some production at its factories in France and Slovenia. Portugal Telecom, the US delivery company FedEx and a local authority in Sweden were also affected.

China has not officially commented on any attacks it may have suffered, but comments on social media said a university computer lab had been compromised.

Coincidentally, finance ministers from the Group of Seven wealthiest countries had been meeting on Friday to discuss the threat of cyber-attacks on the global financial system.

They pledged to work more closely on spotting potential vulnerabilities and assessing security measures.
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