With the recent Ransomware cyber-attack already affecting more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries across the world, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has advised countries and companies to urgently protect their computer systems against future attacks.
Europol Executive, Rob Wainwright described the attack as “unprecedented in its scale” and warned that more people could be affected in the coming weeks.
Last week’s virus attack took control of users’ files, demanding payments with Russia and the United Kingdom (UK) among the worst hit countries.According to Wainwright, the Ransomware was being combined with a worm application, which allows the infection of one computer to quickly spread across the networks, a BBC report said.
“Although a temporary fix earlier slowed the infection rate, the attackers had now released a new version of the Ransomware. Companies need to make sure they have updated their systems and “patched where they should” before staff arrive for work on Monday morning,” he said.
Wainwright added that what occurred was an indiscriminate attack across the world on multiple industries and services including Germany’s rail network Deutsche Bahn, Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica, US logistics giant FedEx and Russia’s interior ministry.
According to the reports, in England 48 National Health Service (NHS) trusts reported problems at hospitals, GP surgeries or pharmacies, and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were also affected.
However, he said that so far “remarkably” victims of the attack had made few payments with three accounts linked with the global attacks suggesting that the hackers may have been paid the equivalent of £22,080.