We forget how completely dependent we are on our internet connections and digital data until we don’t have it. It’s not just Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the like – it can be a matter of life and death, if for example hospitals lose access to their networks.
In a nightmare scenario, nearly a hundred countries around the world, are getting a taste of disaster as a result of massive cyber attack hitting this weekend.
CNN reports, Organizations around the world were digging out this weekend from what experts are calling one of the biggest cyberattacks ever.
Hospitals, major companies and government offices were hit by a virus that seeks to seize control of computers until the victims pay a ransom.
Cybersecurity firm Avast said it had identified more than 75,000 ransomware attacks in 99 countries on Friday, making it one of the broadest and most damaging cyberattacks in history.
Avast said the majority of the attacks targeted Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan. But U.K. hospitals, Chinese universities and global firms like Fedex (FDX) also reported they had come under assault.
If you’re an Apple user, you can breathe a little more easily as this particular attack found its way in through the Windows operating system. The program, called “WannaCry” actually locks down every file on an infected computer until the victim pays a ransom via BitCoin to regain access.
Microsoft has released a security patch for users to install, but it’s useless for computers that have already been hacked.
Stay safe out there folks. You can bet there are hackers already working on the next iteration.
[This article was written by Michele Hickford, author of the brutally honest and bitingly funny Do I Need To Slap You?]