Assembled by Maternation
May I tth, 2017
MASSIVE RANSOMWARE ATTACK
Hospitals, maiar companies and
government offices have been hit by a
massive wave of across
the globe that seize control of
computers until the victims pay a
Cybersecurity firm Avast said it tracked
more than 75, 000 ransomware attacks
in 99 countries on Friday.
It said the majority of the attacks targe-
ted Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan, an
hospitals in the U. K., and global firms
like Fedex (FDC) also reported they had
come under assault.
The ransomware locks down all the files
on an infected computer and asks the
compuder' s administrator to pay in
order to regain control of them.
The ransomware, called ","
is spread by taking advantage of a
Windows vulnerability that Microsoft
Mm, Techer) released a security
patch for in March.
But computers and
networks that haven' t updated their
systems are at risk. The exploit was
leaked last month as part of a trove of
NSA spy tools.
Affected machines have six hours to
pay up and every few hours the
ransom goes up," said Kurt notw-
artier, the principal security
researcher at security firm Kaspersky
Lab. "Most folks that have paid up
appear to have paid the initial
in the first few hours."
Sixteen National Health Service (NHS)
organizations in he UK have been hit,
and some of those hospitals have ca-
nailed outpatient appointments and
told people to avoid emergency
departments if possible. Spanish
telecom company (TE) was
also hit with the ransomware.
Spanish authorities confirmed the raw
somwere is spreading through the
vulnerability, called "," and
advised people to patch.
It is going to spread for and wide
within he internal systems of organic-
ations -- this is turning into the biggest
cybersecurity incident We ever seen,"
security architect Kevin
Fedex said it was "experiencing inter-
Terence with some of our Windows,
based systems caused by malware"
and was trying to fix the problems as
quickly as possible.
Russia' s Interior Ministry released a
statement acknowledging a ransome-
are attack on its computers, adding
that less than 1% of computers were
affected, and that the virus is now
localized? The statement said
antivirus systems are working to
Megafan, a Russian -
ions company, was also hit by the
attack. Spokesman Petr Lidos told
CNN that it affected call centers but
not the companys networks. He said
the situation is now under control.
The U. S. Department of Homeland
Security, in a statement late Friday,
encouraged people to update their
operating systems. "We are actively
sharing information related to this
event and stand ready to lend
technical support and assistance as
needed to our partners, both in the
United States and internationally,"
the department said.
Kaspersky Lab says although the
ransomware can infect
computers even without the vulnerability,
is "the most significant factor"
in the global outbreak.
Beaumont examined a sample of the
ransomware used to target NHS and
confirmed itwas the some used to target
He said companies can apply
the patch released in March to all systems
to prevent infections.
Although it won' t do any good for
machines that have already been hit.
He said ifs likely the ransomware will
spread to U. S. firms too. The ransomware
is automatically scanning for computers it
can infect whenever it loads itself onto a
It can infect other computers on the some
wireless network. " has a hunter’
module, which seeks out PCs on internal
networks," Beaumont said. "So, for
example, l your laptop is infected and
you went to a coffee shop, it would
spread to PCs at the coffee shop.
From there, to other companies."
U. S. NEARS BILLION ARMS
DEAL WITH SAUDI ARABIA
The United States has been the main
The United States is close to completing a
series of arms deals for Saudi Arabia
totaling more than billion, a senior
White House official said on Friday, a
week ahead of President Donald Trump' s
planned visit to Riyadh.
The official, who spoke to Reuters on
condition of anonymity, said the arms
package could end up surpassing more
than billion over a decade to help
Saudi Arabia boost its defensive
capabilities while still maintaining u. s.
ally Israel' s qualitative military edge over
supplier for most Saudi military needs,
from fighter jets to command and
control systems worth tens of billions of
dollars in recent years. Trump has vowed to
stimulate the US economy by boosting
The package includes American arms and
maintenance, ships, air missile defense and
maritime security, the official said. "well
see a very substantial commitment Ttv In
many ways it is intended to build capablest-
ies for the threats they face."
The official added: ' good for the Ame-
rican economy but it will also be good in
terms of building a capability that is appr-
operate for the challenges of the region.
Israel would still maintain an edge."
While in Riyadh, the official said Trump
would attend three major events: A series
of meeting with Saudi officials, a separate
session with leaders of the waxination Gulf
Cooperation Council and a lunch with
Arab and Muslim leaders, 56 of whom
have been invited, to discuss combating
extremism and cracking down on illicit
We are in he final stages of a series of
deals," the official said. The package is
being developed to coincide with Trump' s
visit to Saudi Arabia. Trump leaves for he
kingdom on May 19, the first stop on his
maiden international trip.
Reuters reported last week that
Washington was pushing through
contracts for tens of billions of dollars in
arms sales to Saudi Arabia, some new,
others already in he pipeline, ahead of
Trump' s visit.