Major Japanese electronics maker Hitachi says it has come under a cyber-attack which may be the same one that rocked the world. The chief of Europol, the European Union’s police agency, says a global cyberattack has spread to 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries.
Europol Director Rob Wainwright told British TV outlets on Sunday that the cyberattack is unprecedented in scale.
Wainwright said the “ransomware” blocks access to data until money is paid, and replicates itself in order to spread to other computers automatically.
The virus infects computers by invading through a Microsoft Windows defect.
Wainwright warned companies to take precautionary measures as they may find themselves affected on Monday.
Wainwright suspects the cyberattack was carried out by multiple perpetrators, and that Europol is working closely with the US FBI to solve the case.
Hitachi officials say problems were found on part of their in-house computer system on Monday.
They say employees cannot send or receive emails or open attachments. They say similar problems were also found at their group firms abroad.
The officials say they believe their computer system was infected with the same software that locked up computers around the world. They say they are trying to quickly restore the system.
Japanese police say that by Sunday noon, they had confirmed 2 attacks in the country.