Ransomware: A new digital danger

lexi kava, copy editor

A new digital danger has swept across the globe at it goes by the name Ransomware. Ransomware is a massive cyber attack that targeted large companies like Microsoft and FedEx and hospitals all around the globe last Friday. It struck in over 100 countries including France, Russia, the United States, China, England and more.

Someone who is targeted by this cyber disaster will get messages from the hackers demanding a certain amount of money for their personal information. If the victim does not pay the cost, it gets higher until their information is stolen or their company is further attacked.

Ransomware also hit the UK’s National Health Service, causing their phones and X-Rays to malfunction, and patient information to become unavailable. This malicious attack was put to a halt by an unnamed 22 year old from England, now being called the accidental hero, who found a way to stop it. However, the young hero did warn that this would not be the last we saw of the Ransomware cyber attacks. He told the Guardian shortly after stopping the attack that “This is not over. The attackers will realise how we stopped it, they’ll change the code and then they’ll start again. Enable windows update, update and then reboot” (The Guardian). Many countries are now working frantically to create protections to shield themselves in the event of another attack.

Implications for people here in portage would mainly be attacks through microsoft programs or other big companies. If you are ever confronted by a ransomware message seek help from the police, do not give them the money.