Weekend global cyber attack could worsen at the start of new week: NYT report

835

WASHINGTON, May 14 (APP): A malicious software stolen from the
United States government that struck the world on Friday is feared to get worsening on Monday when users begin their new work week, a news report
said on Sunday.
The global cyber attack had hit 200,000 computes in more than 150
countries by Sunday, Rob Wainwright, the executive director of Europol,
the European Union’s Policy agency, describing it as an “escalating
threat”. He feared the number may go up when people open up their
computers on Monday at the start of the new work week.
According to a New York Times report, organizations hit by the
attack included FedEx in the United States, the Spanish telecom giant Telefonica, the French automaker Renault, universities in China,
Germany’s federal railway system and Russia’s powerful Interior
Ministry.
Britain’s public health system was the most hard hit where
officials had to reschedule surgeries and even some patients were forced
to be turned away from emergency rooms.
“We haven’t seen spikes of new attacks yet, but that’s a strong
likelihood. We could see more attacks if people start to copycat this attack,” said Matthieu Suiche founder of Comae Technologies, a
cybersecurity company based in the United Arab Emirates was quoted by
the newspaper as saying.
A cyber security company warned that a less-vulnerable version of
the malware may be released and asked users to install security software
for older versions of Microsoft’s Windows, including Window XP. The
attack did not target Windows 10.
Some security experts warned about keeping pace with the hackers,
saying new group of hackers could slightly remove the “kill switch” and
send it off into the world, using the same email-based methods to
infiltrate computer systems.
“This is crucial for businesses when reopening on Monday: Please
beware and anticipate, and take preventive steps against the WannaCry malware attack,” Indonesia’s communication and information minister, Rudiantara who like many Indonesians uses only one name, said at a news conference.
Hackers are demanding payment of $300 to $600 in Bitcoin, a digital
currency, as ransom to regain access to encrypted data. Transactions
made using bitcoins are made without financial institutions, such as
banks, and there are no transaction fees and no need to give your real
name.
Several universities in China reported malware problems,
including Shandong University where students had been asked to update
their software as quickly as possible.