Tuesday 25 July 2017

Russian Interior Ministry is hit by cyber attack

Russia's Interior Ministry says it has been hit by a cyber attack.
Russia's Interior Ministry says it has been hit by a cyber attack.

Russia's Interior Ministry says it has been hit by a cyber attack.

Agency spokeswoman Irina Volk said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that Friday's cyber attacks hit about 1,000 computers.

She said the ministry's servers have not been affected.

Ms Volk added that ministry experts are now working to recover the system and do necessary security updates.

Russian media added that the Investigative Committee, the nation's top criminal investigation agency, also has been targeted.

The committee denied the reports.

Megafon, a top Russian mobile operator, also said it has come under cyber attacks that appeared similar to those that crippled UK hospitals.

The cyber attack that is forcing computer owners to pay hundreds of dollars in ransom to unlock their files has hit almost every corner of the world, it was later confirmed.

Tech firm F-Secure said it has received reports from more than 60 countries.

Mikko Hypponen, its chief research officer, called it "the biggest ransomware outbreak in history".

Security experts from Kaspersky Lab and Avast Software say Russia was the hardest hit, followed by Ukraine and Taiwan.

Researchers believe a criminal organization is behind this, given its sophistication.

Kurt Baumgartner, principal security researcher at Kaspersky, said the malware has translations in dozens of languages, such that instructions for paying the ransom are displayed in the language set for that computer.

He and others say the malware takes advantage of an exploit purportedly identified by the National Security Agency.

Later, Spain's Cybersecurity National Institute, INCIBE, said that many of the country's corporations targeted in the attack are regaining control over their systems and resuming operations.

A statement published on the institute's website late on Friday did not offer details about which were the companies affected.

Spain's telecommunications giant Telefonica had earlier acknowledged the attack.

INCIBE, which operates under the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, said that many Spanish companies were alerted on time and were able to dodge the malware.

Spain was among the countries affected by a huge extortion cyber attack that hit dozens of nations, holding computer data for ransom at hospitals, telecommunications firms and other companies.

AP

Press Association

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