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Massive ransomware cyber attack jilts Europe, spreading slowly in the U.S.

June 28, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Massive ransomware cyber attack jilts Europe, spreading slowly in the U.S.

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Ransomware cyber attack cripples hospitals, corporations, and government buildings in Europe.

By RAPHAEL SATTER and FRANK BAJAK
Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — A new and highly virulent outbreak of data-scrambling ransomware — apparently sown in Ukraine — caused disruption across the world Tuesday. Following a similar attack in May , the fresh cyber-assault paralyzed some hospitals, government offices and major multinational corporations in a dramatic demonstration of how easily malicious programs can bring daily life to a halt.

Ukraine and Russia appeared hardest hit by the new strain of ransomware — malicious software that locks up computer files with all-but-unbreakable encryption and then demands a ransom for its release.

In the United States, the malware affected companies such as the drugmaker Merck and Mondelez International, the owner of food brands such as Oreo and Nabisco.

Its pace appeared to slow as the day wore on, in part because the malware appeared to require direct contact between computer networks, a factor that may have limited its spread in regions with fewer connections to Ukraine.

The malware’s origins remain unclear. Researchers picking the program apart found evidence its creators had borrowed from leaked National Security Agency code, raising the possibility that the digital havoc had spread using U.S. taxpayer-funded tools.

“The virus is spreading all over Europe and I’m afraid it can harm the whole world,” said Victor Zhora, the chief executive of Infosafe IT in Kiev, where reports of the malicious software first emerged early afternoon local time Tuesday.

Read more from the Associated Press

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