Cyber-attack is “wake-up call”

Few victims of attack in travel industry – this time
A worldwide cyber-attack that is continuing to hit hundreds of thousands of computers in 150 countries after being unleashed on Friday should be a “wake-up call” for businesses and governments, Microsoft says.
So far there has been minimal impact on the travel industry, although more reports of the attack could emerge as employees switch on their computers on Monday.
Microsoft blames governments for storing data on software vulnerabilities, which can then be accessed by hackers. The latest virus, it says, exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows identified by US intelligence, which was stolen by the hackers.
The WCry or WannaCry ransomware virus takes control of users’ files and demands payment of $300 to restore access. More than 200,000 computers have been affected, a number that is likely to grow.
The biggest hit to the travel industry was in Germany, where the ransom note was displayed on information screens at railway stations after striking rail operator Deutsche Bahn. Ticket machines were also down, but trains ran as normal.
In Denmark, two computers owned by Randers municipality that control six roadside information screens near the city were hit. They too showed the ransom note.
In Sweden, the attack spread rapidly through computers at Timrå Municipality as well as at the technology engineering firm Sandvik.
Other victims include the delivery company FedEx, French carmaker Renault, hospitals in Britain, Russia’s interior ministry and the Spanish telecom giant Telefonica.
A cyber security researcher accidentally found a ‘kill switch’ that stopped the spread of the ransomware but warned that the “crisis isn’t over” as the so-far unidentified hackers “can always change the code and try again”.
BBC / AFP / The Local


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