FedEx hit by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware

FILE - In this May 13, 2017 file photo, a screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack, as captured by a computer user in Taiwan, is seen on laptop in Beijing. Global cyber chaos is spreading Monday, May 14, as companies boot up computers at work following the weekend’s worldwide “ransomware” cyberattack. The extortion scheme has created chaos in 150 countries and could wreak even greater havoc as more malicious variations appear. The initial attack, known as “WannaCry,” paralyzed computers running Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies and government agencies around the world. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

WASHINGTON (WATE) — FedEx Corp. is confirming that it is suffering a malware attack.

Monday, President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser Tom Bossert confirmed FedEx was hit by the “WannaCry” malware. The company said in a statement that their Windows-based systems were “experiencing interference” due to malware and that it was trying to fix the issue as quickly as possible.

Experts are still trying to determine who launched the ransomware attack. Bossert acknowledged that “attribution is difficult” at this point.

“We haven’t ruled out that this is a state attack,” said Bossert.

Bossert said over 300,000 machines in 150 countries have been impacted by the ransomware. He said infection rates slowed over the weekend.

“Overall, the U.S. infection rates have been slower than the rest of the world, but we may still see significant impacts in additional networks as these malware attacks morph and change,” said Bossert.

Bossert said less than $70,000 has been paid in response to the cyberattacks. He added that the U.S. government does not recommend paying the ransom and warned that making a payment to the hackers doesn’t guarantee that access to computer files will be restored.

This image provided by the Twitter page of @fendifille shows a computer at Greater Preston CCG as Britain’s National Health Service is investigating “an issue with IT” Friday May 12, 2017. Several British hospitals say they are having major computer problems Hospitals in London, northwest England and other parts of the country are reporting problems with their computer systems as the result of an apparent cyberattack. (@fendifille via AP)

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.

How to protect yourself

Prevention is the best way to avoid becoming a ransomware victim.

  1. Security firms are encouraging companies and users to make sure they install the official patch from Microsoft. Make sure your computer is running the latest version of its operating system. The virus is primarily hitting older versions of Windows since Microsoft had already released a security patch for Windows 10.
  2. You may want to consider turning on automatic updates from Microsoft Windows. The feature notifies you when important updates are available on your computer. You can also specify the schedule that Windows follows to install updates on your computer.
  3. Avoid downloading attachments or clicking on links found in emails from sends you don’t recognize
  4. Make sure you regularly back up your computer. Using macOS’s time Machine or Backup and Restore in Windows you can store a full system backup. There are also many third-party products that can help backup your system.

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