A second large-scale ransomware attack Friday is leading mainstream media to link the hackers involved directly with Bitcoin.
As Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) confirms it had lost control of multiple hospital computer systems, the national newspaper the Daily Mirror has released an article about “the money ransomware hackers are demanding” from victims.
The publication summarizes the situation:
“The NHS has been hit by a major cyber attack today, with hackers demanding $300 in ‘Bitcoin’ to unlock private patient files.”
“The attack has crippled trusts across the UK, with 16 authorities reporting their hospitals’ computers being locked up by some form of computer virus.”
From screenshots of infected systems uploaded by other media sources, it is beyond doubt that the NHS attack shares its source with that which infected Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica earlier Friday.
In that hack, perpetrators are demanding €510,000 to relinquish control of infected systems, roughly equal to €300 per computer.
As of press time, Bitcoin’s price appears to be little affected by the media rumors, having nonetheless come of previous highs to fall around four percent since Thursday.