MIDDLE EAST

Ransomware hackers are controlling the world

The ransomware virus which targeted the accounts and services of global companies and governmental institutions in several countries was a horrible attack that’s extremely dangerous and that has several significances.

According to some estimates, the victims of this cyber attack are more than 200,000 in 150 countries in Asia and Europe. The European Interpol said it was an unprecedented attack.

Banks, airliner companies, internet service providers, commercial companies and governmental institutions were all in a state of alert following the attack.

According to some experts, the cyber attack may even target smart home technologies in addition to targeting smart phones and laptops.

The aim of these cyber attacks is clear. The virus seizes your data, and if you pay the required ransom, you will be given a password to retrieve your data.

A British young man foiled the ransomware virus but what’s funny is that few years ago, when he was still a teenager, he was suspended from school after being accused of hacking.

Dutch spy chief Rob Bertholee recently warned during a cyber security conference in The Hague that today no one can completely protect anyone from cyber threats, and he warned of another digital dangerous attack.

Bertholee highlighted how cyber attacks targeted Saudi Arabia’s Aramco in 2012 and how three years later Ukrainian electricity companies were hacked leading to a massive blackout for several hours.

One of the interesting points he noted is that although the internet provided the world with comprehensive infrastructure that had major benefits, such as facilitating communication and the transfer of information, it also had disastrous disadvantages.

A weapon

Technological development has made things easier but it’s a weapon that you can use and that can also be used against you. It helped facilitate general services and put an end to paperwork and bureaucratic stamps as everything has now become digital. This is very easy and simple but it can also be very dangerous and serious.

The Internet has a window overlooking heaven and another overlooking hell. God bless the days of simplicity.

Mashari Althaydi

Imagine if the entire world is under the control of a mysterious gang. Some said that angry North Korea is behind the recent ransomware attack. Before that, it was said the Russians were behind hacking the French and American elections.

The world’s submission to the internet is terrifying. Internet is indispensable when it comes to public services, airliners’ bookings, hospitalization, banking and many other sectors. Therefore spending and investing in electronic security has become part of national or rather global security.

The Internet has a window overlooking heaven and another overlooking hell. God bless the days of simplicity.

The article was first published in Asharq Al-Awsat.

____________________
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 17 May 2017 KSA 12:48 - GMT 09:48
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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