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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

VIDEO: Cybersecurity Expert says Recent Cyber Attack is a Wake-Up Call

By Noell Saunders

A recent ransomware cyber-attack that might have originated from the theft of "cyber weapons" linked to the U.S. government has hit computers in hospitals and agencies in more than 100 countries around the world.

The ransomware, called WannaCry, locks down all the files on an infected computer and asks the computer's administrator for money to access them.

Hongyi "Michael" Wu, director of Old Dominion University's Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research, said the massive attack is a wake-up call for agencies to develop better ways to protect computer systems.


"Unfortunately, not all computers are updated, especially older ones running on Windows XP and Windows 8. In this case, those machines are exposed to an attack like this one," said Wu, who holds the Batten Chair of Cybersecurity at Old Dominion.

Computer software giant Microsoft blamed the attack on the U.S. government, saying hackers found a crucial Windows vulnerability in data that had been stockpiled by the National Security Agency. Some experts said they have found evidence that North Korea may be behind the attack.

Watch the video as Wu explains how to protect computers from harmful viruses and ransomware.

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