A large-scale cyber attack is confirmed on approximately 75,000 computer devices of around 100 countries on May 12, 2017. According to the media reports, the most probable reason is the security flaw found in Microsoft Windows OS, which allowed hackers to jump into the network.
Earlier it was reported that the attack was done at the institutional level only, but the hack gradually moved to many hospitals in England under National Health Service (NHS), FedEx and even Telefonica, a Spanish Telecom giant.
It is said that the hack is performed via WanaCrypt0r 2.0 - an encryption-based ransomware that encrypts the system files and keeps it unless money is paid to the source person. Though the creators of WanaCypt0r and WannaCry, a decryptor software are also surprised with the global reach on a massive scale.
Russia seems to be the most affected country followed by England, India, Ukraine.
As it is a ransomware, the hackers are demanding payment in the form of Bitcoins - a form of digital money. Hackers also threatened saying, if the ransom money is not transferred, the encrypted data will be deleted.
The ransom attack seems to have spread, and the reports from different regions are being raised. Till this article was written, 75,000 computers running on Windows OS were affected.
The ransomware is a kind of attack, which spreads through the network, so a single affected computer can affect the other devices in the network as well.
Telefonica, a telecom giant of Spain confirmed the hack "cybersecurity incident" which affected the computers at its Madrid headquarters.
Telefonica spokesman also confirmed that hackers demanded $300 in the form of bitcoin to an unknown address.
Ransomware hack is performed via phishing links through email or even by targeting the loopholes in Windows OS.
According to the TechCrunch, the ransomware's code makes it pretty clear that it's taking advantage of an exploit called EternalBlue published in April by the Shadow Brokers but patched preemptively by Microsoft in March.