WannaCry Ransomware Cyber Attacks Affects 150 Countries, North Korea Responsible?


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Europe's police agency Europol said Sunday the attack had already affected at least 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, with data networks infected by malware that locks computer files unless a ransom is paid.

Experts Warn of Second Round of Cyberattacks Following Friday’s Massive Hack
Friday’s massive global cyberattack affected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. Though some facilities were able to combat the first wave, British cybersecurity officials said Monday that new malware attacks are possible, “at a significant scale.”
"We’ve seen the rise of ransomware becoming the principal threat, I think, but this is something we haven’t seen before — the global reach is unprecedented," Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright said in an interview.

WannaCry hackers have not withdrawn any ransom bitcoin, surveillance shows
Hackers collecting bitcoin following Friday’s cyberattack have not yet withdrawn any of the digital currency from their accounts, and could have a hard time doing so without getting caught, experts say.
With the help of leaked software developed by the National Security Agency (NSA), malicious ransomware called the Wanna Decryptor – or WannaCry – spread to 150 countries.

Asia hit by WannaCry virus at week’s start, disrupting govt services & business
Asian governments and businesses continued to be disrupted by the WannaCry ransomware on Monday, the media reported, citing officials. China, Japan, South Korea, and India have all seen an impact from the computer virus epidemic that erupted on Friday.
Some Chinese government sectors, including traffic, police, immigration, social security, and industry, were also hit by the virus, Reuters reported.
According to local media, the social security departments in the south-central city of Changsha and industrial associations in the city of Zhuhai in the country’s south were affected.
AP cited Chinese state media as saying that some 29,372 institutions have been affected by the virus so far.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that his country had nothing to do with the recent global "ransomware" cyber attack that targeted some 150 countries over the weekend.
“Microsoft’s management has made it clear that the virus originated from US intelligence services,” said Putin while addressing reporters in the Chinese capital Beijing on Monday.
Earlier, Microsoft President Brad Smith noted that US intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and National Security Agency (NSA), were to blame for the attack because they stockpiled malicious software code which was used by the hackers.
The NSA claims the software used in the attacks had been stolen from it.
“Once they're let out of the lamp, genies of this kind ... can do damage to their authors and creators," said Putin. "So this question should be discussed immediately on a serious political level and a defense needs to be worked out from such phenomena," he added.

Researchers see possible North Korea link to global cyber attack
Cyber security researchers have found technical evidence they said could link North Korea with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday.
Symantec (SYMC.O) and Kaspersky Lab said on Monday that some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had also appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, which researchers from many companies have identified as a North Korea-run hacking operation.
"This is the best clue we have seen to date as to the origins of WannaCry," Kaspersky Lab researcher Kurt Baumgartner told Reuters.

Intelligence officials and private security experts say that new digital clues point to North Korean-linked hackers as likely suspects in the sweeping ransomware attacks that have crippled computer systems around the world.

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