International Cyber Attack: Ransomware Cripples Computers Worldwide
On Friday, May 12, 2017, the world witnessed a massive cyber-security crisis, with the ransomware software hacking millions of computers across the globe in a matter of hours. The cyber attack was launched on an unprecedented scale and brought individuals and organizations alike to their knees over the weekend, with over 200,000 systems infected by the virus across 150 countries!
The first and most critical victims were the NHS Global trusts of the British healthcare system and Germany’s national railway system. The British National Health Service was shut down for almost a day, throwing operations, treatments, and patient records into havoc. Subsequent reports of hits followed, from countries as diverse as Japan, China, India, Spain, Brazil, and the UK, with massive amounts of information being encrypted for a ransom of US$ 300 per computer. The damage was mitigated to an extent due to the presence of mind of a software researcher from England, who accidentally found and activated the ‘kill switch’ for the malware that would have otherwise spread like wildfire!
Ransomware primarily hijacked Microsoft computers via a major security loophole in the latest Windows update, the information regarding which had been allegedly hacked from the NSA just months ago. Several divergent strains were later observed to have spawned over the weekend, with malicious hackers developing codes that progressively try to override kill switches.
The attack led to widespread panic amongst the global population, with organizations taking drastic preventive measures to protect their systems, should the attack escalate on following days; Renault closed one of its biggest production units in France for the day, as a precautionary measure. However, the tide seems to have slowed somewhat as of Monday, though cyber exerts have predicted another onslaught in the near future.
The Ransomware malware attack is one of the most massive cyber-attacks in the history of cyber-crime. Affecting over 200,000 machines, the malware caused a severe internet crunch throughout the leading nations of the world and has since served as a wake-up call regarding the ever-increasing necessity of strong cyber protection.+
Growing digitization, cloud adoption and IoT will present significant growth opportunity for the ransomware protection market participants
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