June 21 2017

On Wednesday Honda announced that it was forced to shut down production at one of its plants after it was hit by the WannaCry ransomware.

In mid-May when the virus appeared efforts were made to secure its systems but these efforts were not enough to avert a further attack.

Companies struck by WannaCry either had a backup strategy in place, or rolled out patches It has been said some have even paid ransoms. Recently a company based in South Korea made headlines by announcing it had paid a $1 million ransom to recover data encrypted by ransomware.

The company said it was originally asked to pay 5 billion Won (South Korea’s official currency) which is about $4.3 million USD to get its data back. The scope of the infection was stated to be 153 of its Linux servers and 3,400 customer websites. It has been reported that the company was able to negotiate with hackers and get the payment reduced to 397 bitcoin, or $1 million.

The WannaCry virus was first spotted on May 12 this year, when over 200,000 machines in 150 countries were infected The UK’s National Health Service was among the worst hit, with 47 NHS Trusts in England and 13 in Scotland infected, forcing surgical operations to be cancelled and staff to use pen and paper to record patient data.

I’d like to remind everyone to be vigilante when opening e-mail. Before you open any attachment or click on links:

Check the sender’s address; avoid email overseas, e-mail addresses or domain names not known to you. Keep in mind, your friends or associate’s computer might have been infected with a virus and their e-mail may not be safe.

Check the subject; learn to recognise emails with no subject or keywords that are out of place.

Read the email; look for anything unusual.

Beware of any web links request sign-in with your username and password; Before open any web links, check the URL or web address, for example if you get an email from Ticketek, AGL, Australia Post, Commonwealth Bank…etc. But the link or URL indicates it may take you to another website, such as or http://tinyurl/8u98uo then do not go there nor supply your login details.

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