Global Bitcoin Extorting Ransomware Campaign Hits as Many as 74 Countries

Global Bitcoin Extorting Ransomware Campaign Hits as Many as 74 Countries
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Several major companies all over the world, including telecommunications companies and England’s National Health Service (NHS), are currently being targeted by a massive ransomware campaign that has already caused chaos in the affected organizations. Security researchers have allegedly identified the ransomware strain WannaCry, even though the attack’s origin is still unknown.

According to reports, the first company to identify the attack was Telefónica, a Spanish multinational broadband and telecommunications provider. Telefónica’s computers had their monitors turn blue, as some reported seeing a ransomware message demanding $300 in bitcoin appear.

By then, cybersecurity expert Jakub Kroustek tweeted out that 36,000 WannaCry instances had already been detected, mainly in Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan.

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36,000 detections of #WannaCry (aka #WanaCypt0r aka #WCry) #ransomware so far. Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan leading. This is huge. pic.twitter.com/EaZcaxPta4

— Jakub Kroustek (@JakubKroustek) May 12, 2017

Even though the Spanish company’s clients are safe, other companies including utility provider Gas Natural and power firm Iberdrola have also suffered from the attack. An image of what victims see on their computers, which sees the text translated according to the country, has been circulating the web:

According to Business Insider, as many as 74 different countries have been attacked, even though most reports are coming in from countries in Europe. The Telegraph has pointed out that Romania’s intelligence service has managed to intercept an attempted cyberattack on a government institution. The attack, according to the source, allegedly came from cybercriminal group APT28, a group that is also known as Fancy Bear.

Attack’s effects in Portugal

Several organizations in Portugal, one of the first countries to report the attack, have been affected. These include financial institutions such as

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