By Steve Grunwald

Hacking tools developed by the National Security Agency are believed to have been used to launch a worldwide cyberattack. International shipper FedEx, hospitals, railroads and police were disrupted by the attack Friday. Hundreds of thousands of computers in nearly 150 countries were infected with the “WannaCry” ransomware virus.

Once infected, computers get a pop-up message saying their files are encrypted and can only be unlocked if the user sends 300-dollars worth of bitcoin. Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan seem to be countries most affected by the virus – and with the work week resuming today, there are concerns about another round of infections. Microsoft issued a patch that addressed the vulnerability in March, but some computers may not have installed the patch. So if you haven’t yet – it’s suggested you do so immediately.

As for how it was stopped, an expert, known as “MalwareTech,” halted the “WannaCry” ransomware virus Friday night by registering the code for the so-called “kill switch.” And for the moment, Britain’s healthcare system and everyone else are slowly getting back online.

  • A White House official says President Trump ordered an emergency meeting after a worldwide cyber attack. Trump reportedly asked Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert to hold a meeting Friday to determine the threat of the ransomware virus. The senior security staff also held another meeting Saturday in the White House Situation Room. The FBI and the National Security Agency are trying to find the suspects responsible for the attack.

Source: New York Times

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