Cyber Attack Aims To Extort Companies Around The World

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami/AP) — FedEx Corp. has confirmed that it is suffering a malware attack after reports of dozens of cyber attacks around the world.

A statement from the delivery company Friday said its Windows-based systems were “experiencing interference” due to malware and that it was trying to fix the issue as quickly as possible.
It gave no further details.

Computer systems at companies and hospitals in dozens of countries were hit Friday, apparently part of a huge extortion plot. The so-called ransomware attack appears to exploit a weakness that was purportedly identified by the U.S. National Security Agency and leaked to the internet. It encrypts data on infected computers and demands payment before the information is unencrypted.

The attack also forces computer owners to pay hundreds of dollars in ransom to unlock their files.

F-Secure on Friday says it’s gotten reports from more than 60 countries. Mikko Hypponen, its chief research officer, calls it “the biggest ransomware outbreak in history.”

Security experts from Kaspersky Lab and Avast Software say Russia was the hardest hit, followed by Ukraine and Taiwan.

Researchers believe a criminal organization is behind this, given its sophistication.

Kurt Baumgartner, principal security researcher at Kaspersky, says the malware has translations in dozens of languages, such that instructions for paying the ransom are displayed in the language set for that computer.

He and others say the malware takes advantage of an exploit purportedly identified by the National Security Agency.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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