Europol says cyber attack is escalating and there maybe more attacks on the way

Here’s what you need to know

The cyber-attack that hit computer systems around the world on Friday has affected more than 200,000 people in 150 countries, according to Europol’s chief.

Rob Wainwright the chief for Europol, said on ITV that the world is facing an escalating threat and he is concerned as to the level of attacks for Monday morning, as people return to work.

Security experts including the accidental hero, MalwareTech have said that another unstoppable attack is imminent.

MalwareTech who wishes to remain anonymous, has said that they prevented more than 100,000 computers across the world from being targeted with a virus.

Patrick Coomans posted this tweet that was re-tweered by MalwareTechl:

Wainwright said that this attack is “unprecedented” and “We’re in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up.”

“We are running around 200 global operations against cyber-crime each year but we’ve never seen anything like this.”

“The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries. Many of those victims will be businesses, including large corporations. The global reach is unprecedented.”

Friday, we saw the NHS was being held to ransom, as hospitals were paralysed by Friday evening as operations were cancelled and GP surgeries were locked out their computer systems also.  

NHS Hack

Source: @drbenwhite

Sam Hutton, CTO at Glasswall Solutions said to LondonLovesBusiness.com on Saturday: “This is a major cyber-attack on the NHS in which criminals are potentially putting the wellbeing of an entire country at risk by locking up data and demanding a ransom.”

“It is likely to have been started in the same way that more than 90 per cent of these attacks start by tricking employees to open email attachments that contain hidden code. Anti-virus defences are useless against these attacks because they only search for known threats, not the new threats and zero-day attacks being devised by criminals on a daily basis.”

“Everyone at the top level should have woken up to this by now because these attacks in email attachments have been going on for a long time. Yet still the senior people stick with the old anti-virus technology that simply doesn’t work and in the process, they’re putting organisations like the NHS at risk.”

“It seems inconceivable that organisations such as the NHS are prepared to jeopardise highly confidential patient data or critical infrastructure through inadequate cyber security that relies heavily on out-dated anti-virus technologies, when effective alternatives like file-regeneration are available.”

The prime minister Theresa May, said on Friday that “The National Cyber Security Centre is working closely with NHS Digital to ensure that they support the organisations concerned and that they protect patient safety.”

May also said that cyber-attack did not target just the health service, but it is part of a wider global assault.

The UK’s National Crime Agency’s Oliver Gower said: “Cyber criminals may believe they are anonymous but we will use all the tools at our disposal to bring them to justice.”

National Crime Agecency said this on Twitter:

Barts NHS Trust is still experiencing disruption to their service and they have posted a statement on their website: “If you are not contacted and you are due to attend one of our hospitals for treatment on Monday 15 May then please attend as planned.”

“Please bring your appointment letter, medication and any other information relevant to your appointment.”

Barts NHS Trust posted this on Twitter:

 

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