Cyber Threat: Ransonware hit computers in 74 countries


Britain’s National Cyber Center is trying hard to counter global ransomware attack which has affected computers in 74 different countries. A powerful malicious code leaked from the United States National Security Agency has struck many government offices – from universities to transport facilities around the world.

Not only this, the Interior Ministry of Russia also claimed to be hit by the massive ransomware. Major countries which were hit include Spain, India, Ukraine, and Italy. It’s said to be one of the most powerful, well-coordinated and rapid spreading attacks in the history. Moreover, the ransomware is one of its kind so it’s difficult to counter it without complex international investigation, says European Cybercrime Center’s Director.

248 public health trusts have affected so far within Europe. The authorities were able to recover 4 of them until now. A young 22-years-old boy inadvertently stopped the ransomware attack after discovering about it. The ransomware is spread worldwide using an Internet address. The young boy registered to the same Internet address and thereby, tricking the ransomware to stop its spread across the globe.

He allowed ransomware to hit a dummy computer just to double-check if he’s successful in stopping the worldwide spread. He was thrilled to know the results favoring his efforts. United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security revealed about the young researcher in a blog post on their site. They claimed that the boy stopped the attack to spread.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the press that 40+ National Health Service organizations in Scotland and Britain were affected by the ransomware, however, no patient data is compromised. Attacks on sensitive organizations like NHS which is dedicated to providing better health service is definitely a cowardly act to affect the individuals and families.

This attack appears to be extortion scheme to threaten hospitals and healthcare organizations to pay a ransom otherwise their patient data will be deleted. All the infected computers show a pop-up which demands to pay the ransom amount within 3 days otherwise the price will be doubled. Moreover, if no money is paid, all the files on the computer will be deleted after 7 days.

The hacker demands $300 worth of online currency “BitCoin” to leave the computer. According to the calculations, one of the largest telecommunication company in Spain owes half a million dollars to unlock all the encrypted computers.

Baumgartner, a principal security researcher with Kaspersky informed the press about “WannaCry” ransomware to be a well-written code and there’s no easy way to unlock the encrypted computers. Avast security software recorded over fifty thousand computers across the globe affected by “WannaCry” threat. But, none of the software companies have yet been able to provide an effective solution to this attack.

Let’s hope the hacker gets caught soon. Cyber Crime Organizations of different countries have joined tries to fight the killer attack and find the culprit. Though, they seem really clueless since Friday, 12 May. Affected computer owners are looking for help to get rid of ransomware from their computers but none is prepared to help them.