FedEx Corp confirms it has suffered a malware attack on Friday and said its Windows-based systems were “experiencing interference” due to malware and that it was trying to fix the issue as quickly as possible. Computer systems at companies and hospitals in dozens of countries were hit Friday, apparently part of a huge extortion plot. The so-called ransomware attack appears to exploit a weakness that was purportedly identified by the U.S. National Security Agency and leaked to the internet. It encrypts data on infected computers and demands payment before the information is unencrypted..
A cyberattack that is forcing computer owners to pay hundreds of dollars in ransom to unlock their files has hit almost every corner of the world. This is 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.Russia’s Interior Ministry says it has come under cyber attack. Agency spokeswoman Irina Volk says in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that Friday’s cyber attacks hit about 1,000 computers. She said the ministry’s servers haven’t been affected. Volk also said that ministry experts are now working to recover the system and do necessary security updates.
Russian media also said 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 cyberattacks that appeared similar to those that crippled U.K. hospitals on Friday.
Microsoft has released fixes for vulnerabilities and related tools disclosed by TheShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that has repeatedly published alleged NSA software code. But many companies and individuals haven’t installed the fixes yet, or are using older versions of Windows that Microsoft no longer supports and didn’t fix.
Hospitals in the U.K. and telecommunications companies in Spain are among those hit by a “ransomware” attack that locked up computer data and demanded payment to free it. The attacks use a malware called Wanna Decryptor, also known as WannaCry.