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WannaCry Ransomware Attack Threatens Thousands of Computers; Makes National Headlines

May 16, 2017, by Tabitha Gregory, Chief Customer Relations Officer, Copper Valley Telecom

Last Friday (5/12/17), unknown hackers carried out a large scale international cyberattack. Government and media sources estimated that the attack may have reached hundreds of thousands of computers in over 150 countries. The perpetrators of the attack sent malware out in email messages. Malware is software that can damage computers. The malware, dubbed "WannaCry", was allegedly stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and appears to only affect Microsoft Windows systems. Once this malware is opened on a PC, it locks all the files it finds. The hackers then extort money as ransom from the targets. Once paid, the attackers claim they will unlock the files and return access to the information back to the victim. Reports indicate that this cyberattack has affected dozens of large organizations, such as FedEx and the British National Health Service.

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