Sacramento Update

How #NSA software lead to 100,000 groups in 150 countries being hit by hackers

Nice going NSA.

An unprecedented global “ransomware” attack has hit at least 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, Europe’s police agency said Sunday — and predicted that more damage may be seen Monday as people return to work and switch on their computers.

The attack that began Friday is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, spreading chaos by locking computers that run Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies, factories and government agencies worldwide.

The attack held hospitals and other entities hostage by freezing their computers, encrypting their data and demanding money through online bitcoin payment — $300 at first, rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.

The effects were felt across the globe, with Russia’s Interior Ministry and companies including Spain’s Telefonica, FedEx Corp. in the U.S. and French carmaker Renault all reporting disruptions.

The Chinese media reported that students at several universities were hit by the virus, which blocked access to their thesis papers and their dissertation presentations.

What’s worse, those responsible were able to borrow a weaponized “exploit,” apparently created by the U.S. National Security Agency, to launch the attack in the first place.

The ransomware exploited a vulnerability that has been patched in updates of recent versions of Windows since March.

Enjoy your Police State.

Read the whole story in the Sacramento Bee

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Categories: Sacramento Update

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