Nearly hundred countries, including India, were hit by what is believed to be the biggest-ever recorded cyber attack that used “cyber weapons” stolen from the US’ National Security Agency to lock up computers and hold users’ files for ransom.
As per an Economic Times report, the Indian companies affected by the malware include ‘two South India banks, two Delhi-based Indian manufacturing companies, one manufacturing unit of an MNC, corporate headquarters of a Mumbai-based conglomerate and a Mumbai-based FMCG company’ along with over 100 PCs of Andhra Pradesh police.
Within hours, over 75,000 attacks were detected worldwide.
Meanwhile, the MalwareTech tracker detected over 100,000 infected systems over the past 24 hours.
Security researchers with Kaspersky Lab have recorded more than 45,000 attacks in 99 countries, including the UK, Russia, Ukraine, India, China, Italy, and Egypt.
In Spain, major companies including telecommunications firm Telefonica were infected.
The most disruptive attacks were reported in the UK, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.
It was believed to the biggest attack of its kind.
A Microsoft spokeswoman said that the company was aware of the reports and was looking into the situation.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the malware believed to be behind the attacks, encrypts data on infected computers and essentially holds it for ransom.
“Known as WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor, the so-called ransomware program homes in on vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows systems,” the daily said.