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FedEx confirms it was hit by global malware attack

19 May 2017

London/Nagpur: The "unprecedented" ransomware cyberattack has hit as many as 200,000 victims in over 150 countries, Europe's leading security chief said on Sunday and warned of possible fresh disruption when workers switch on their computers at the start of the working week on Monday.

The indiscriminate attack exploits known vulnerabilities in older Microsoft computer operating systems.

U.S. package delivery giant FedEx, European auto factories, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, Britain's health service and Germany's Deutsche Bahn rail network were among those hit.

Qihoo had previously said the attack had infected close to 30,000 organisations by Saturday evening, more than 4,000 of which were educational institutions. "The numbers are going up, I am anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn (on) their machines on Monday morning", Europol Director Rob Wainwright said.

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Oliver Gower of the UK's National Crime Agency said, "cyber criminals may believe they are anonymous, but we will use all the tools at our disposal to bring them to justice".

Some victims were ignoring official advice and paying the $300 ransom demanded by the cybercriminals to unlock their computers, which was due to double to $600 on Monday for computers hit by Friday's first wave.

South Korea's presidential Blue House office said nine cases of ransomware were found in the country, but did not provide details on where the cyber attacks were discovered.

In its latest update on the incident, Europol said it was the "largest ransomware attack observed in history".

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Last week's virus attack took control of users' files, demanding payments with Russian Federation and the United Kingdom (UK) among the worst hit countries.According to Wainwright, the Ransomware was being combined with a worm application, which allows the infection of one computer to quickly spread across the networks, a BBC report said.

The attack therefore spread faster than previous, smaller-scale ransomware attacks.

Other victims include is a Nissan manufacturing plant in Sunderland, northeast England, hundreds of hospitals and clinics in the British National Health Service, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and worldwide shipper FedEx Corp.

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