The European Union’s police agency said Sunday that the cyber attack which stroke 200,000 targets Friday in nearly 150 countries may spread more after people get back to their work on Monday.
Cyber security experts confirmed that WannaCry virus – ransomwar slowed down after it had shut down several computers and files in institutions, companies, schools and hospitals all over the world; however, they suspect that the respite will not stay for so long.
The unprecedented global reach
Europol Director Rob Wainwright told ITV’s Peston on Sunday program the attack was ‘unprecedented’ as the reason behind the rapid widespread of ransomware is that ransomware is developed in combination with “a worm functionality”,
“The global reach is unprecedented. The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, and those victims, many of those will be businesses, including large corporations,” he said.
“At the moment, we are in the face of an escalating threat. The numbers are going up; I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn (on) their machines on Monday morning.”
He said Europol along with other agencies could not point out the reason for the attack, but “it is criminally minded and that is our first working theory for obvious reasons”.
“Of course there are amounts that are being demanded, in this case relatively small amounts – $300 rising to $600 if you don’t pay within three days,” he said.
“(There have been) remarkably few payments so far that we’ve noticed as we are tracking this, so most people are not paying this, so there isn’t a lot of money being made by criminal organisations so far.”
Theresa May’s government role
Defence minister Michael Fallon informed the BBC that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government spent around 50 million pounds in an attempt to improve the computer systems in the NHS after it warned service that it important to decrease exposure to “the weakest system, the Windows XP”.
“The NHS was not particularly targeted. There were the same attacks applied to Nissan on Friday and in other areas of the economy and indeed around the world,” Fallon said.
“But let me just assure you, we are spending money on strengthening the cyber defence of our hospital system.”