Wanna Cry ransomware hits the heart of Bangkok

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Thailand’s government is urging users to beware of the dangerous ransomware dubbed Wanna Cry which has hit at least 200,000 victims in 150 countries worldwide.

Prime Minister Prayuth on Saturday instructed the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to closely monitor the situation and advise the public where necessary.

Despite a report on Monday claiming the ransomware had yet to be detected in Thailand, pictures shared on Twitter on Sunday claimed otherwise.

The pictures revealed that two digital advertising hoardings had become infected with the virus and rather than displaying the usual advertisements, instead showed a message from hackers as the Bangkok traffic passed by.

One photo, shared by Twitter user ALiCE6TY9 on Saturday said that one of the infected hoardings was located on Wireless Road.

There were also reports that other advertising hoardings had been infected in the Viphawadee area too.

Meanwhile Thai police have ordered all agencies to be careful when downloading files from the internet in a bid to limit the risk of infection from Wanna Cry.

On Sunday, Europol revealed that the Wanna Cry ransomware had claimed 200,000 victims in 150 countries and described the cyber attack as “unprecedented”.

“The global reach is unprecedented. The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, and those victims, many of those will be businesses, including large corporations,” Europol Director Rob Wainwright said.

“At the moment, we are in the face of an escalating threat. The numbers are going up; I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn (on) their machines on Monday morning.”

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It is not known who is behind the attack but it is believed the perpetrators are using an exploit created by the US National Security Agency for use in carrying out its own cyber attacks.

Had it not been of the actions of a British cyber security expert, who accidentally found a ‘kill switch’ the malware would also certainly have spread further and faster, The Telegraph reported.

The ransomware preys on devices running Windows XP and which haven’t installed security updates issued by Microsoft in March, when the NSA created exploit dubbed “Eternal Blue” first came to light.

On Sunday, Microsoft hit out at organisations who had failed to keep their systems updated and criticised governments for stockpiling security vulnerabilities.

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