MONDAY CYBER CHAOS SPREADS GLOBALLY
Extortion scheme hits 150 countries
GLOBAL cyber chaos was spreading yesterday as companies booted up computers at work following the weekend’s worldwide “ransomware” cyberattack.
The extortion scheme created chaos in 150 countries and could wreak even greater havoc as more malicious variations appear.
The initial attack, known as “WannaCry”, paralysed computers running Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of companies and government agencies around the world.
Chinese state media said 29,372 institutions had been infected along with hundreds of thousands of devices.
The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were affected.
Government agencies said they were unaffected. Companies like Hitachi and Nissan Motor Co reported problems they said had not seriously affected their business operations.
In China, universities and other educational institutions were among the hardest hit, about 15 per cent of the Internet protocol addresses attacked, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
Elsewhere in Asia, officials in Japan and South Korea said they believed security updates had helped ward off the worst of the impact.
The attack was disrupting computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in scores of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, India and Japan.
Russia’s Interior Ministry and companies, including Spain’s Telefonica, FedEx Corp in the United States and French carmaker Renault all reported troubles.
The attack held users hostage by freezing their computers, popping up a red screen with the words, “Oops, your files have been encrypted!” and demanding money through online bitcoin payment — US$300 (RM1,300) at first, rising to US$600 before it destroys files hours later.
The attack has hit more than 200,000 victims across the world since Friday and is seen as an “escalating threat”, said Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, Europe’s policing agency.