On Friday an international cyber-attack place, affecting more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries. The worst part. It is set to get worse on Monday according to Europol chief Rob Wainwright. The “ransomware” called Wanna Decryptor, that has most notably hit the NHS is said to have been a software that is easily brought off the internet. The software is effectively a virus that will overrides the control of a user’s files and locks the user out and demands a payment. The payment is requested in Bitcoin, a popular crypto currency that uses multiple complex security features and is effectively untraceable, the ransom asked for a payment of £230.
In England, 48 of the National Health Service (NHS) trusts were victims of the attack, and multiple problems in hospitals and surgeries were reported, this issue rubs salt in the wounds to the NHS, who under Jeremy Hunt’s abysmal leadership have seen multiple complications in terms of the state of the NHS. Globally Russia and the UK were the worst hit as a result of these attacks, with the interior ministry of Russia being targeted. Among them US courier giants FedEx, Spain’s communication operator Telefonica and Germany’s rail network Deutsche Bahn were targeted. Many experts have advised for companies to update their computer software in anticipation of further attacks on Monday. In response Microsoft have released a patch on Friday to defend against these attacks. An anonymous security researcher based in the UK, called “MalwareTech” helped limit the attack by registering a domain name that each infected computer was being rerouted to, by registering the domain the attack was halted. MalwareTech has predicted another attack to come very soon and urged that security be updated.
The danger of this attack and the unprecedented level that it has reached is a major concern. Furthermore the lack of funding into the NHS cyber system has been labelled as a cause for concern and the use of Windows XP, an effectively outdated software that is susceptible to hacking. The alleged £1bn cut to the NHS is the cause of the outdated NHS infrastructure and as of now there has been no response by Jeremy Hunt with regards to the situation. The cost of the attack on the UK is unknown and now Europol is working in conjunction with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to find out who is behind this attack.