Medicine

Meet the young man who stopped the biggest-ever cyber attack

Meet the young man who stopped the biggest-ever cyber attack

Cyber security experts say the spread of the virus dubbed WannaCry - "ransomware" which locked up computers in auto factories, hospitals, shops and schools in several countries - has slowed, but that any respite might be brief.

As per the advisory, the ransomware infects other computers on the same network and is also spreading through malicious attachments to e-mails.

United States software firm Symantec said the majority of organisations affected were in Europe, and the attack was believed to be indiscriminate. But it appears to be "low-level" stuff, Eisen said Saturday, given the amount of ransom demanded - $300 at first, rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.

Bitcoin, the world's most-used virtual currency, allows anonymous transactions via heavily encrypted codes.

Meanwhile, new versions of the ransomware have reportedly surfaced, including one without the kill switch exploited by a 22-year-old computer security researcher to shut the attack down.

Dr Rainsberry said: "We have also been offering advice and assistance to GP surgeries, who will open as usual tomorrow".

Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn said its station display panels were affected.

No one has died because of the NHS attack, and there's no evidence patient data was leaked, according to Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex worldwide investigation to identify the culprits", it said in a statement. "We will continue to work with affected (organizations) to confirm this", the agency said.

Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organisations deemed not worth the price of upgrading. But so far several said they have found no way to break the encryption.

Just one day before the attack Dr Krishna Chinthapalli, a registrar in London, warned in a British Medical Journal article that some hospitals "will nearly certainly be shut down by ransomware this year".

All Microsoft Windows users are urged to download it.

The UK government called a meeting of its crisis response committee, known as Cobra, to discuss how to handle the situation.

But he also placed fault in national governments.

"We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible", a statement said.

"We see all the finger-pointing at the usual suspects, saying it's probably people in Russian Federation or China, but, to quote Sherlock Holmes, it's not really a good idea to guess without the evidence", Gazeley said.

They said cyber incidents represent a growing threat to their economies and should be tackled as a priority.

The ransomware took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

CERT-In has alerted vital institutions including RBI, stock markets and NPCI against the WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack that has infected thousands of systems globally.

Specifically pointing to US intelligence agencies, Smith said the worldwide hack "provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem".

Microsoft was quick to change its policy, announcing free security patches to fix this vulnerability in the older Windows systems still used by millions of individuals and smaller businesses.

The NHS has issued advice about the possibility of further cyber-attacks at GP surgeries if computers are switched on before updates are applied. As it turns out, the NHS now uses outdated Windows XP and failed to upgrade to a newer version or even install the Microsoft-released patches that could have prevented the attack or at least lessened its effect.

The spread of the ransomware capped a week of cyber turmoil in Europe that began when hackers posted a trove of campaign documents tied to French candidate Emmanuel Macron just before a runoff vote in which he was elected president of France.