WannaCry Ransomware: Apple Users Too Vulnerable To Such Attacks

Fernando Stephens
May 19, 2017

The NHS has been declared "open for business" but some hospitals are still suffering disruption caused by the crippling ransomware attack.

This also includes doctors' surgeries.

The NHS, which was showcased in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, employs more than 1.5 million people, making it the world's fifth biggest employer after the USA and Chinese militaries, Walmart and McDonald's.

Britain's National Cyber Security Center and others were hailing the cybersecurity researcher, a 22-year-old identified online only as MalwareTech, who — unintentionally at first — discovered a so-called "kill switch" that halted the unprecedented outbreak.

Ransomware is a form of infected software created to take over a computer system and then block access for the authorized user.

The Scottish Government's resilience operation met yesterday to discuss the situation and heard that health boards put extra teams in place to support staff returning to work after the weekend. The attack hit one in five of the nation's 248 National Health Service (NHS) groups.

Russia's interior ministry said some of its computers had been hit by a "virus attack" and that efforts were underway to destroy it.

Government ministers were due to hold an emergency response meeting later on Monday to deal with the crisis.

US strike hits pro-Assad forces in Syria
A second USA defense official said that an additional strike did hit the convoy after the vehicles continued toward the base. The official was "not sure" which forces were in the convoy but they "were clearly working with the Syrian" regime.

But with their eyes on the June 8 general election, Britain's opposition parties accused Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government of failing to ensure the NHS is properly protected.

On Friday, Microsoft released patches to fix a vulnerability in older software.

The assault, which began Friday and was being described as the biggest-ever cyber ransom attack, struck state agencies and major companies around the world - from Russian banks and British hospitals to FedEx and European vehicle factories.

More than 200,000 victims in around 150 countries have been infected by the ransomware, which originated in the United Kingdom and Spain on Friday before spreading globally. The malicious software was transmitted via email and stolen from the National Security Agency, reports the New York Times. Security firms say Russian Federation was the country that was hit the hardest.

"The growth rate of infected institutions on Monday has slowed significantly compared to the previous two days", said Chinese Internet security company Qihoo 360.

Over the weekend, Qihoo reported that the ransomeware attack infected almost 30,000 groups by Saturday night.

Hospitals, major companies and government offices were hit by a virus that seeks to seize control of computers until the victims pay a ransom. Lord added that "one customer said they actually forgot they were being robbed".

When asked if Apple users can not be affected by such cyber-attacks, Aleksandr Yampolskiy, chief executive officer and founder of SecurityScorecard, said on Squawk Box that it is a common misconception.

Other reports by BadHub

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER