According to security analysts, last week’s global ransomware attack may get even worse starting from Monday. Europol, European Union’s FBI of sorts has issued a warning that many computer systems will simply not start tomorrow.
Both private companies and government agencies are fearing things may get very ugly as a new global wave of cyber attacks is expected to cripple more computer systems/networks by encrypting files and demanding ransom for unlocking them on Monday.
Last week’s attack which claimed more than 200,000 victims in over 150 countries affected only Microsoft running computers that failed to install the latest security patch released by the Redmond based tech giant back in March. However, there’s a brand-new/emergency security patch released a couple of days ago for older Windows versions. The problem is that companies and government agencies which own hundreds or thousands of computers will require a long time to install these patches on all of their devices.
And if the people fail to react in time, as in patch their computers fast enough, the number of victims will grow exponentially, potentially leading to a global paralysis of sorts.
The situation is very serious and complicated according to a Sunday interview for ITV by Europol’s Executive Director Rob Wainwright, who warned that people returning to work on Monday will turn on their computers, leading to additional disruptions via the global ransomware attack that will probably continue to claim more and more victims.
The situation could worsen starting from Monday and that’s due to the malware’s design, which contains 2 parts. The first part is the ransomware itself, which works by locking the affected computer’s files and OS then displaying a warning message about the imminent destruction/loss of data if the victim fails to pay the ransom in a predetermined amount of time.
The second part of the “virus” is the spreader, i.e. once a computer gets infected, the spreader replicates itself to all the other computers in the network.
— Europol (@Europol) May 13, 2017
Photo via Hacker News