Quantcast i24NEWS - Over 75,000 global victims of cyberattack: French police

Over 75,000 global victims of cyberattack: French police

The huge cyberattack wiped out display screens at rail stations in Germany
Boris Roessler (dpa/AFP)
Computers around the globe were hacked using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system

The unprecedented global cyberattack affected "more than 75,000 victims" in dozens of countries, French police said in a statement Saturday, the day after the ransomware hit Russia's banks, British hospitals and European car factories among others.

"This is a provisional figure of the number of infected computers and could rise significantly over the coming days," Valerie Maldonado, deputy head of the  French police's anti-Cybercrime Office told AFP.

Europol described Friday's cyberattack as "unprecedented".

The attacks used ransomware, which locks users' files unless they pay the attackers a designated sum in the virtual Bitcoin currency.

Images appeared on victims' screens demanding payment of $300 (275 euros) in Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"

French police described the mode of the online attack as "particularly dangerous".

"Once the first computer is infected, it spreads throughout the whole network to which it is connected, paralysing all the computers  whose files it encrypts."

The ransomware seems to have hit individual and corporate users equally, the police said in a statement posted online.

See also:

No current indications Israel hit by massive international cyberattack: official


8Previous articleResearcher finds 'kill switch' for cyber-attack ransomware
8Next articleEuropol says 200,000 cyberattack victims in 150-plus states