France’s Renault hit in worldwide ‘ransomware’ cyber attack


French car giant Renault has been hit by the global ransomware cyber attack that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries, a spokeswoman said on Saturday.

It is the first major French company to report being affected by the malware.

“Measures are being put in place to stop the spread of the virus; it’s the first step,” the spokeswoman said, adding that “We’re seeking to have a global vision to see which sites have been affected.”

The attack affected businesses and government offices from Russia to Mexico on Friday, with experts, including European intelligence outfit, Europol, calling it the biggest ransomware outbreak ever.

Researchers believe a criminal organisation is behind this, given its global reach and sophistication.

Two security firms — Kaspersky Lab and Avast — said they had identified the malware behind the attack in upward of 70 countries, although both said the attack has hit Russia hardest, followed by Ukraine and Taiwan.

The Russian interior ministry said on its website that around 1,000 computers had been infected by the virus.

Other groups disrupted by the attack include British hospitals, Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica, US shipping firm FedEx, and Germany’s national railway.

Deutsche Bahn said it had deployed extra staff to busy stations to assist customers after its arrival and departure display screens went down on Friday night, although there was no impact on actual train services.

Turkey’s information and communication technologies authority, or BKT, also reported the nation had been affected by the malware, while in Indonesia two major hospitals had also been struck.


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