Organizations have been hit by ransomware that spreads across their networks, encrypting files.
(CCM) — Organizations around the world are bracing themselves for more outbreaks of WannaCry ransomware infections after the malware began unleashing itself on computer systems on Friday. The malware encrypts important files on infected computers and demands a ransom of $300 to restore access to them. The ransom doubles three days after the initial demand, and the malware warns that all files will be deleted if a payment is not made within 7 days.
Hundreds of thousands of computers were impacted by the first wave of the cyber-attack, but an analysis of three Bitcoin accounts linked to the ransomware demands suggests that the number of ransoms that have been paid so far only number in the hundreds, according to a BBC report.
The initial wave of infections affects organizations including FedEx, Russia's Interior Ministry, Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica, and the U.K.'s National Health Service. The fear is that more computers will become infected around the world when business users start up their computers after the weekend.
The ransomware can infect Windows computers that have not been updated to remove a vulnerability that it exploits. Microsoft issued an update in March 2017 to fix the vulnerability, but large organizations need time to test the effect of an update before they install it to ensure that it does not prevent other software from working.
Image: © Yuriy Vlasenko - Shutterstock.com