Global cyberattack hits 200,000 Windows users

An unprecedented cyberattack over the weekend has affected more than 200,000 computers.

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.

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    COMMENTS

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    Janus
    15th May 2017
    10:18am
    For those of us living most places more than 5km from a city, who have slow downloads on our pathetic NBN, the continual downloads will clog your downloads and bloat your setup and use up your expensive limits.

    However there are several (lots) free ransomware programs, that go somewhere towards protection and/or rescue. Just Google "free ransomware" and go for it. Even better, backup frequently, have a decent antivirus, and if possible do your sensitive work off line, and back it up before going on line a few times per day to collect your spams...

    I remember when the world operated quite well without having to get mail delivered every 5 seconds. We made sure that what we communicated was effective and relevant. It was also written in decent English.
    Rosret
    15th May 2017
    12:59pm
    The ability to communicate is the key to world peace.
    The faster we share information and qualify our position the less likelihood of all out war.
    One thing computer programmers managed to achieve across all boundaries was the ability to set protocols and to handshake will all different computer platforms throughout the world.
    Can you compare ANY other form of sending and receiving data that can make that same claim?
    Charlie
    15th May 2017
    10:33am
    I have lost confidence in computer systems and now doing all my daily transactions in cash.

    The internet is great for getting things on ebay, but now I am living almost entirely on age pension I have to watch every dollar.

    Counting those notes and coins every day provides more controlled spending than looking at eftpos and other transactions, some not showing the common name of the store and many not listed in the proper order that the spending was done.
    Rae
    15th May 2017
    10:50am
    Yes and how fast do those receipts fade into white.

    You'll be pleased to have some cash if the system ever collapses.

    The NBN was off line again this morning for 3 hours. Happens overtime it rains haha.
    Rae
    15th May 2017
    10:50am
    Yes and how fast do those receipts fade into white.

    You'll be pleased to have some cash if the system ever collapses.

    The NBN was off line again this morning for 3 hours. Happens overtime it rains haha.
    Old Geezer
    15th May 2017
    10:57am
    How annoying having to worry about getting cash and the security of it. It's so long since I used cash now I really can't remember the last time I did.
    Rae
    15th May 2017
    1:22pm
    You trust them though OG and my experience has been of travelling far enough and long enough not to. If the debt bubble was smaller and the zero bound not breachable in a cashless society I'd be with you. Damn if I want -2% interest on all my deposits. Or more depending on the greed.

    I use my card too but I realise the importance of cash to keep a bit of control in an escalating deflation.

    If we go cashless I'll still hold $US for my own peace of mind.
    Rosret
    15th May 2017
    12:52pm
    I am a bit slack when it comes to backing up my photos etc but this scam got me putting it all on the external hard drive last night. My son backs up to the cloud regularly.
    Either/or I won't be paying the 300 bit coins if we get targeted
    Sundays
    15th May 2017
    2:47pm
    We had our computer files held to ransom a couple of years ago. I believe that we accidentally opened a email attachment from an unknown source. It was only a few word and excel files, but if we had a business it might have been catastrophic. We took the computer and paid to have everything wiped and anti malware put on. I now regularly back up Microsoft files and never open files from an unknown source
    Pass the Ductape
    17th May 2017
    3:13am
    I find it difficult to believe that owners or heads of companies are so lax as to not have automatic security updates switched on, on their computers. Or am I missing something here?
    Are these ransom-ware creeps able to circumvent security measure already in place?

    I wouldn't pay up in any case. I back up my computer stuff on a fairly regular basis and besides, I certainly have little understanding about how bit-coin works, or even how to get hold of the stuff. The concept of bit-coin draws a blank with me.
    Pass the Ductape
    17th May 2017
    3:15am
    I also think - if they ever catch these mongrels, they make every attempt to give them 20 years in jail.


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