13 May 2017, US
A massive global ransomware attack, which according to security researchers leveraged a hacking tool developed by the United States National Security Agency, shut down computer systems across several countries, including India, last night. Apart from infecting computers, it hit the international shipper FedEx and also disrupted Britain’s health system.
To give a better understanding, let’s understand the meaning of ransomware first.
Ransomware is a type of malware that can stop you from using your PC, rename or encrypt your files so you can’t use them.You may be warned that you need to pay money.
In this global ransomware attack, the trick used by the cyber extortionists to lure the victims into opening malicious malware attachments were invoices, job offers, security warnings and other legitimate files.
The most disruptive issues of the global ransomware attack were reported in Britain, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.According to the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, the hospitals weren’t deliberately targeted and were simply part of a larger attack. “This (the Wanna Cry cyberattack) was not targeted at the NHS, it’s an international attack and a number of countries and organizations have been affected,” May said.
Some of the companies that were explicitly targeted in the international cyber attack included international shipper FedEx Corp, Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica and French aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
India stood in the top list of countries which were worst affected by the global ransomware attack, according to a data shared by Kaspersky. Although, there was no explicit information on the list of companies in India which were affected by the cyber attack.
Russia was also amongst the worst affected, according to both Kaspersky and Avast, another anti-virus provider. Over 70 percent of the computer systems affected in the Wanna Cry attack were located in Russia, according to Kaspersky’s observation. Reuters reported that around 1,000 computers at the Russian Interior Ministry were affected by the huge cyber attack.
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