Start of work week sparks global fears of increased ransomware attacks

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Screenshot of a hacked NHS computer blocking access to its files.

An attack from which no continent – or computer – is safe.

Malicious software has shut-down computer networks at hospitals, governments, and schools worldwide. Now, the head of Europe’s intelligence agency, is warning that this ransomware attack could cause more damage Monday, as workers start switching-on their computers.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports on what security experts are calling the gravest act of online extortion to date.

Start of work week sparks global fears of increased ransomware attacks

Start of work week sparks global fears of increased ransomware attacks

An attack from which no continent – or computer – is safe. Malicious software has shut-down computer networks at hospitals, governments, and schools worldwide. Now, the head of Europe’s intelligence agency, is warning that this ransomware attack could cause more damage Monday, as workers start switching-on their computers.
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The number of computers around the world infected with the malicious software has eclipsed 200,000. Europol fears the start of the work week will further spread the virus – as the global workforce starts switching-on its computers. The malicious software called “Wanna Cry” locked computers and demanded payment of between $300 and $600 U.S. dollars to restore access. So far, Intelligence chiefs say few have paid the ransom.

 Now the focus is on trying to catch whoever spread the virus. It’s believed the software may have been crafted from data stolen from the U.S. intelligence service the National Security Agency. It’s the latest example of cyber weapons or defenses crafted by nations falling into the wrong hands and shows how vulnerable the world’s networks are.

The best offense says security experts, is a good defense- having robust security software on your computer or network. Companies and countries are updating their systems as we speak but all that costs money and takes time. These cyber weapons are far easier to make and far faster to deploy than any conventional attack. It’s a cat and mouse game constantly evolving and being fought across national borders. Laws, regulations, and enforcement are struggling to keep up