Hospital computer hit by ransomware

2017/05/14 20:10:23
(Picture downloaded from Pixabay)

(Picture downloaded from Pixabay)

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) A local hospital said one of its computers was found early on Sunday to have been attacked by the WannaCry ransomware virus, one day after the government reported there had been no incidents of ransomware infection involving government agencies and hospitals in Taiwan.

A spokesman for En Chu Kong Hospital in Sanxia, New Taipei said no patient medical data were affected by the virus, and the computer program has been reformatted.

The message in the attack demanded payment of US$300 in Bitcoin within three days; if not, the ransom was to double; by the seventh day and if no ransom was paid, all the files inside the computer would be deleted, according to the spokesman.

Hospital staff immediately unplugged the computer from the internet, reformatting it before reprogramming its operating system, according to the spokesman.

After announcing "no incidents," the Cabinet's Department of Cyber Security on Saturday urged the public not to open any unknown e-mails or links to protect their computers from infection.

Also on Saturday, a high school student in northern Taiwan's Taoyuan reported that his computer was attacked by the ransomware which encrypted his files and demanded US$600 in Bitcoin to decrypt them.

The student said his computer was infected after logging onto his Facebook account, which showed a garbled message that led to the activation of the ransomware, according to local police.

The threat posed by WannaCry or WanaCrypt0r 2.0 made worldwide news on Friday when over a dozen hospitals in the United Kingdom were reported to have been hit by the ransomware.

According to cyber security firm Avast, more than 75,000 WanaCrypt0r 2.0 attacks had been detected in 99 countries as of Friday.

A EUROPOL statement on Sunday estimated the WannaCry attacks to have affected more than 200,000 people and expected the number of victims to rise on Monday.

(By Lin Chang-shun and S.C. Chang)
ENDITEM/AW


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