The cyber-attack on Friday has affected many people – more than 200,000 victims – in 150 countries, according to report by Europol chief Rob Wainwright. Mr. Wainwright told the news site ‘BBC’ that the cyber-attack was “unprecedented in its scale.” He further warned that more people could be affected by the same act on Monday morning.
The numbers are increasing rapidly; Russia and the UK are the most affected countries
The bug took control of the files of users and demanded ransoms or payments. According to several reports, the UK and Russia are the two countries which were affected the most by the cyber-attack. Experts have warned that another attack could be coming soon. Further, the experts have warned the people to make sure that their security is up to date.
The ransomware was being combined with a worm application that enabled the infection of one computer to quickly spread across the networks, said Mr. Wainwright. He added that this is the reason why they were seeing these numbers increasing all the time.
He said that the attackers have now released a new version of the ransomware even when a temporary fix slowed the infection rate previously. The EU law enforcement agency head said that the businesses should ensure that have updated their systems and patched where they should before their staff arrives on Monday for work.
Over 48 National Health Service (NHS) trusts reported problems at GP Surgeries, hospitals or pharmacies in the UK and over 13 NHS organizations were affected in in Scotland.
Few payments had been made by victims: Mr. Wainwright
The EU law enforcement agency head said that what happened was an indiscriminate attack across the world on multiple industries and services, including Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica, Russia’s interior ministry, Germany’s rail network Deutsche Bahn and US logistics giant FedEx.
He said that “remarkably” only few payments had been made so far by victims of the cyber-attack. BBC did analysis of three accounts that were linked with the global attack and it suggests that the hackers have been paid around £22,080. The agency was working with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to find people who are responsible for the attack, said Europol chief. They added that more than one person was likely to be involved for the attack.
According to experts, the virus exploits vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software, which was first identified by the US National Security Agency. Last month, the Windows maker released security updates to address the vulnerability and it released another patch on Friday.