Massive, fast-moving cyberattack hits as many as 74 countries

It encrypts data on infected computers and demands payment before the information is unencrypted. An IT researcher stands next to a giant screen a computer infected by a ransomware at the LHS (High Security Laboratory) of the INRIA (National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation) in Rennes, on November 3, 2016.

British hospitals, Spanish firms among targets of global 'ransomware' attack

The vulnerability (specifically a SMBv2 remote code execution in Microsoft Windows) was exposed by The ShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that has repeatedly published alleged NSA software code. In Scotland, NHS Lanarkshire had to close down its non-essential IT network and urged patients not to attend the hospital if it wasn't an emergency.

Cyberattack hits dozens of countries with ransomware

Its ransom demands start at $300 and increase after two hours to $400, $500 and then $600, said Kurt Baumgartner, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. "The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor". In the meantime the Prime Minister has said that the Government is not aware of any evidence that patient records have been compromised in the massive cyber attack on the NHS.

NHS says cyber attackers have not accessed patient data

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre is assisting the investigation into the United Kingdom incidents, apparently caused by a piece of malware called Wanna Decryptor, it said. Victims of the attack are confronted with a pop-up window that tells them their files are now encrypted and that they need to send $300 via the bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Major cyber attacks strike worldwide

There were reports of more than 75,000 similar attacks on Friday in 99 countries, with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan hardest hit, according to the cybersecurity firm Avast. It was not clear who was behind the attacks, but the acts deeply alarmed cybersecurity experts and underscored the enormous vulnerabilities to Internet invasions faced by disjointed networks of computer systems around the world.

NHS cyber attack: Russia Interior ministry hacked in worldwide crisis

Ransomware attacks typically remotely encrypt files on a computer and hold them until the owners, or users of the files, pay a fee. The Prime Minister said the ransomware hit was "not targeted" at the health service but was part of a wider assault on organisations across a number of countries.