New Cyber Chaos Appears To Have Been Avoided: Europol

Marlene Weaver
May 17, 2017

Hospitals and doctors" surgeries across Britain were forced to divert ambulances, turn away patients and cancel appointments on Friday after a "ransomware' cyber attack crippled some computer systems in the state-run health service.

Asked if warnings had been ignored, Mrs May said: "No". But those devices - computers but also devices like MRI scanners and heart rate monitors - are now being switched back on for the working week.

There is a more "complex emerging picture" of the cyber-attack that hit Britain's National Health Service - and other parts of the world - over the weekend.

Nick Savvides from cyber security firm Symantec says Australians are not immune to such attacks.

According to Europol, it affected 200,000 victims across 150 countries, with the threat first spotted by the NHS in the UK.

The software took control of the people's computer and files and demanded users to pay $300 (Rs 19,000 approx) in virtual currency Bitcoin to unlock the files and regaining access to their systems. Apart from your hospital, there's a range of other primary care services that can offer help, such as your GP, pharmacist, dentist or optician.

Typically, the virus can take hold of services like the Delhi Metro, affect the governmental systems store data related to the Aadhaar card and even affect the Indian IT sector.

Security experts attributed the apparent success of the WannaCry virus to a "perfect storm" of conditions, including a well known and highly risky security hole in Microsoft Windows, users who didn't apply a Microsoft patch, and malware created to spread quickly once inside a network, be it a business, government or university.

"Regularly check the contents of backup files of databases for any unauthorised encrypted contents of data records or external elements, (backdoors /malicious scripts)", it said.

Though a British security researcher "MalwareTech" managed to stop the spread of the virus, hackers have issued new versions that cybersecurity organisations are trying to counter. News.com.au reported the minister told reporters in Cairns that the challenge was that there were various instances of ransomware in Australia every week and authorities were now seeking to confirm whether these are the same thing that hit the United Kingdom.

New variants of the rapidly replicating worm were discovered Sunday and one did not include the so-called kill switch that allowed researchers to interrupt its spread Friday by diverting it to a dead end on the internet.

Tens of thousands of computer were "locked" - the screens displaying the telltale ransom demand.

"The fact that so many computers remained vulnerable two months after the release of a patch illustrates this aspect", he said in a blog post.

WannaCry is believed to have been made using tools developed by the US National Security Agency and leaked online.

NY times, a group named Shadow Brokers used to post software tools that came from the U.S. government's stockpile of hacking weapons last summer.

She said that included many Global Positioning System attending their practices on the weekend to install the necessary "patches" to bring the malware under control.

The 200,000 victims included more than 100,000 organisations, Europol spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth told The Associated Press.

If you need emergency care, Accident and Emergency departments are open to deal with serious and life-threatening conditions. You can change the locks but what has happened cannot be undone.

Other reports by Insurance News

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