Europol Report 200,000 Ransomware Victims and More to Come



/ 3 months ago

europol

Europol has announced that Fridays cyber-attack had over 200,000 victims in 150 countries. On Monday this number is expected to grow even larger. But why?

The aftermath of Fridays cyber-attack

The NHS in Britain was the most high-profile victim. Since this time it is reported that 48 NHS Health Trusts were affected in England and 13 Health Boards in Scotland. The total reported or suspected attacks figure is over 200,000. When people arrive at their offices on Monday and log into their PC, it is expected that this number will increase significantly. Technical support teams are bracing themselves for a lot of nervous telephone calls at 9:05am.

Who is Europol?

Europol are the police force of Europe. Following the attack they have been analysing the reported cases in a hope of identifying the source. Several high standing members of Europol have been releasing statements following the attack. Steve Wilson is head of Europol’s Cybercrime Center. In an interview he has said: “It’s not a massively sophisticated attack. What is new is the use of a worm to propagate through systems.”. 

europol

The scale of the attack has also caused the director of Europol, Robert Wainwright to issue a statement: “The global reach is unprecedented and beyond what we have seen before.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. At the moment, we are in the face of an escalating threat. The numbers are going up.” He added that “I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn on their machines on Monday morning”.

Europol is now working in conjunction with the FBI in a joint effort to find the perpetrators of the attack.

SEE ALSO:  UK Parliament Hit by 'Sustained and Determined' Cyber Attack

Is another attack coming?

There is no reason to expect an attack, despite many media outlets liking to spread fear and panic. At least no more often than usual. While taking all precautions is of course advised, such as backing up data, as the famous phrase says, we should keep calm and carry on.

Avoiding opening strange e-mail attachments, downloading .exe files and being silly will result in you likely never being a victim of a cyber-attack.

If eTeknix are not reporting anything on Monday, you’ll know why.


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  • Vorticalbox

    “Avoiding opening strange e-mail attachments, downloading .exe files and being silly will result in you likely never being a victim of a cyber-attack.”

    Though I agree, this attack was spread using a remote exploit in the way windows handles SMBv1 and as such required no user interaction to spread.

    What is worrying this exploit was patched in march so these systems were left unpatched for almost two months, this would have been more than long enough to test for any issues.