A programmer shows a sample of the ransomware cyber attack on a laptop in Taiwan, one of the worst-hit countries.
A programmer shows a sample of the ransomware cyber attack on a laptop in Taiwan, one of the worst-hit countries. RITCHIE B. TONGO

Ransomware hits Aussie PC owners

A MASSIVE cyber attack that has hit 200,000 people in at least 150 countries has claimed its first Australian victims and authorities warn more is yet to come.

The Federal Government confirmed yesterday three private businesses had been hit by the WannaCry ransomware attack that wormed its way into thousands of computer systems around the world in an extortion plot, shutting users out unless they coughed up payment.

Initial reports said just one Australian business had been impacted, but Cyber Security Minister Dan Tehan said two others were also hit.

"At this stage, it does seem like that we have missed the major impact of this ransomware incident,” he told the ABC.

Authorities overseas warned the malware attack could escalate even further yesterday as the working week began.

"We are in the face of an escalating threat,” Rob Wainwright, executive director of the international police force Europol, told ITV.

"The numbers are going up.”



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