An unprecedented ransomware cyberattack that began in the early hours of Saturday morning has, by the end of the weekend, affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries. Affected computers were locked by the virus, with hackers demanding ransom payments of between $300 and $600 in bitcoins from victims.
The cyberattack targeted Microsoft Windows computers that hadn’t been updated with an important security update from March 2017. The owners of the targeted computers had failed to install an important security update, either due to automatic windows updates not being activated, or because computers were using older versions of Windows that no longer support security updates.
The cyberattack hit several major companies and government agencies around the world, including Britain’s health sector, Russia’s interior ministry, Germany’s national railway and Spain’s communications network.
>Security experts from around the world were quick to investigate the cyberattack and a young British researcher unintentionally discovered a ‘kill switch’ that halted the attacks. It is believed that more than $70,000 in ransom payments were made before the cyberattack was stopped.
To prevent yourself from becoming the next victim of ransomware, it is important that you configure automatic updates in Windows.