On Monday, a cyberattack took place, hitting companies and governments around the world. Experts warn that along with the event, new versions of the virus could emerge. Thousands of infections were reported, especially in Asia, which had been closed for business when the malware first struck on Friday. Even though the cases were more contained than the systemic outbreak that last week paralyzed computers in charge with factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems around the world.
Many of the 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries were still struggling to recover from the first attack of the so-called “WannaCry” virus. The virus affected France, as Renault said that it was not reopening on Monday as a “preventative step”, and Britain’s National Health Service said that about a fifth of its NHS trusts, being the regional bodies that run hospitals and clinics were hit by the attack on Friday, leading to thousands of cancelled appointments along with operations.
On Monday, the Chinese media stated that 29,372 institutions had been infected along with hundreds of thousands of devices. Also, universities and other educational institutions in the country were among the hardest hit, due to the fact that schools tend to have old computers and be slow to update operating systems and security. People complained on social media about the fact that they were unable to carry out their work, students could not complete their assignments, and people in various cities did not take their driving tests because some local traffic police systems were down.
Moreover, railway stations, mail delivery, gas stations, hospitals, office buildings, shopping malls and government services were also affected.
In Japan, 2,000 computers at 600 locations were infected, as companies including Hitachi and Nissan Motor Co. reported problems, but they had not seriously affected their operations. In Indonesia, however, the malware locked patient files on computers in two hospitals from Jakarta, the capital city.
The attack held users hostage by freezing their computers, popping up a red screen with the words “Oops, your files have been encrypted!” and demanding money through the online bitcoin payment system, of $300 at first, rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.
The President of Microsoft laid part of the blame on the US government. Brad Smith criticized the US intelligence agencies, to include the CIA and the NSA (National Security Agency) for stockpiling software code that can be used by hackers.
Even though some people paid the ransom demanded by the malware, Eiichi Moriya, a cybersecurity expert and professor at the Meiji University warned that paying the ranson does not guarantee a fix.