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Massive Ransomware Assault Force Shutdown of CCPU Computers

Superintendent Bill Callaway of CCPU (Clay Center Public Utilities) situated at Kansas (USA) has said that a ransomware cyber-assault recently forced computer systems at CCPU to go offline. The assault by hackers originated from Russia, the Superintendent said. Tripwire.com reported this dated October 25, 2013.

And as typical with ransomware attacks, the current one too threatened; in this case, the utilities of possible data-loss incase it didn't hand over huge sums the attacker demanded. But first the malware contaminated PCs utilized for billing, budgeting and scheduling, each task related to accounting. Although several computer systems were impacted with the malware, all critical control devices remained unaffected.

Initially, the malware became noticeable on Callaway's residential PC when it damaged certain data files, a few being image files.

Callaway stated that the attackers gave 100-hrs by when a sum of $300 must be sent. The demand arrived via an e-mail that seemingly the North Central Kansas Communications Net dispatched.

A specialist, whose efforts attempted at lessening the assault, described the malicious software as being spotted within similar assaults globally, reported tripwire.com.

Elsewhere Callaway stated that the specialist had been speaking to people online in various countries like Germany, Indonesia and other European states, and discovered that 7-8 individuals succumbed to the ransom payment following which their PCs were unlocked, but for 5-6 persons, no change occurred in their PCs even after paying, Callaway explained. Ccenterdispatch.com published this dated October 24, 2013.

Callaway further explained that choosing the unlocking code was a random exercise, while the malware for each victim was different. Also unusual was that e-mail was used for the assault unlike the system where such assaults bypassed e-mail, he pointed out.

Indeed, on 27th October 2013, when the TV channel for National Geographic broadcasted one fictional docudrama, the virus assault occurred. The docudrama was regarding one probable cyber-assault against USA's power grid.

According to Callaway, the assault could affect the power grid, however, it wasn't correct that it affected in exploding transformers installed at the back of consumers' houses. He said discussing the cyber-attack problem publicly was essential as otherwise the consequences could be disastrous.

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