Police warn: If you're hit by cyberattack, don't pay the ransom

EnlargeKaspersky Lab

May 15, 2017 by Chloe Best Protect your computer and devices from the cyber attack that has hit 150 countries around the world with this advice from the National Cyber Security Centre.

The ransomware took control of computers around the world and required owners to pay hundreds of dollars to get their files back.

"It was clear that warnings were given to hospital trusts but this is not something that focused on attacking the NHS here in the United Kingdom", she told reporters on Monday. French police said there were "more than 75,000 victims" around the globe, but cautioned that the number could increase "significantly". But UK hospitals, Chinese universities and global firms like Fedex also reported they had come under assault.

A cyber security experts says it's possible some Australian organisations have been affected by a global malware attack but are staying tight-lipped. The ransomware was created to repeatedly contact an unregistered domain in its code. More than 200,000 computers have been affected so far. Copycat attacks could follow. The tools behind the attacks reportedly belonged to the U.S. National Security Agency, according to security experts. Deutsche Bahn said it deployed extra staff to busy stations to provide customer information, and recommended that passengers check its website or app for information on their connections.

Europol's Wainwright underscored the point Sunday.

It is the largest ransomware attack observed in history.

An Indian-origin doctor based in London had warned against the cyber-hack of the UK's state-run National Health Service (NHS) just days before it crippled the country's network. The exploit was leaked last month as part of a trove of NSA spy tools.

The software company released security updates in March to address certain vulnerabilities that these WannaCry attacks are exploiting.

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"One of the most common methods of infecting computer systems is through links and attachments in emails".

Among the first is Microsoft, which rushed out an emergency patch for Windows XP on Friday, after formally ending support for the operating system three years ago.

The patches won't do any good for machines that have already been hit.

"Unfortunately, there are some very smart and bad people out there who spend their times trying to make things worse for us, and this is not game over for us", he said.

- Who was behind the attack? "Remarkably few payments" had so far been made in response to this attack, he added.

Around a fifth of NHS trusts were hit in the attack, forcing them to postpone operations and procedures over the weekend.

A hacking group called Shadow Brokers released the malware in April, claiming to have discovered the flaw from the NSA, Kaspersky said.

The assault, which began on Friday and was being described as the biggest-ever cyber ransom attack, struck state agencies and major companies around the world - from Russian banks and British hospitals to FedEx and European vehicle factories.

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