ransomware | WABE 90.1 FM

ransomware

Al Such / WABE

A global "ransomware" attack that started last week locked thousands of computers in more than 150 countries.

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As a cybersecurity hub, metro Atlanta hosts nearly 100 cybersecurity firms. Some of them are helping affected companies respond to the attacks.

Dboybaker / www.flickr.com/demietrich

An unusual strain of virus-like hacker software that exploits computer server vulnerabilities — without requiring human interaction — is a leading example of a new generation of "ransomware," according to a new report by Cisco Systems Inc.

Hackers use such software to target large-scale networks and hold data hostage in exchange for bigger payments. Such a strain, known as Samas or samsam, hit the MedStar Health Inc. hospital chain last month.