An unprecedented “ransomware” cyberattack that has already hit tens of thousands of victims in 150 countries could wreak even more havoc Monday as people return to their desks and power up their computers at the start of the work week.
Officials and experts on Sunday urged organisations and companies to update their operating systems immediately to ensure they aren’t vulnerable to a second, more powerful version of the malicious software. The cyberattack paralysed computers that run Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies and government agencies worldwide.
The attack, already believed to be the biggest online extortion scheme ever recorded, is an “escalating threat” after hitting 200,000 victims across the world since Friday, according to the head of Europol, Europe’s policing agency.
“The numbers are still going up,” he said. “We’ve seen that the slowdown of the infection rate over Friday night, after a temporary fix around it, has now been overcome by a second variation the criminals have released.”
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