>> Over 100,000 cyber victims trying to recover on Saturday from a massive global hacking attack which forced businesses in Europe to shut down, while hitting schools in China and hospitals in Indonesia. In just one day, security software maker, Avast, saying it had observed over 126,000 ransomware infections across nearly 100 countries, some demanding payments of as much as $600 to restore access.
Reuters tech editor Jonathan Weber.>> So that type of attack has been increasing steadily over time, but we've rarely seen, or never really seen one that's this broad-based, that's hitting so many people at once. Usually these things are much more limited and much more targeted. This is sort of going after the whole world at once.
>> Hackers exploited a computer flaw first discovered by the NSA to carry out the attack. Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan were the top targets of the malware, which also affected Russia's biggest bank, disrupted services at gas stations in China, and halted production at Renault's factories in France and Romania on Saturday.
German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, said some electronic signs at stations announcing arrivals and departures were infected. With travelers posting pictures of messages, like this, demanding a cash payment to restore access. Some experts say the threat has receded for now, in part because of an anonymous UK-based researcher who discovered that the malware had a way of switching itself off by connecting to a specific web address.
The researcher identified that web address, registered himself, and deactivated the strain. But the fear is that the attackers could tweak the code and start fresh strikes