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Read moreThe ransomware virus dubbed “Halo” has claimed over 500 lives across Europe and the US.
As the story unfolded in the weeks following its release, the number of people infected soared.
In Germany, authorities announced the country’s first major mass-scale ransomware attack since 2014.
The ransomware is known as a Cryptowaller and has infected thousands of computers.
Authorities were forced to cancel the 2018 World Cup after a number of games were postponed and fans in some countries were forced from their homes.
The number of ransomware infections has now surpassed 200 million.
The ransomware spread through email and SMS messages, and encrypted files could be downloaded on compromised computers.
The virus has also caused thousands of cases of identity theft in some nations.
In Britain, some businesses are offering discounts to victims to help them escape the ransomware infection.
The malware can also be spread via social media accounts, email attachments, text messages and photos.
Users can protect themselves by not using email or instant messaging apps, and limiting access to certain apps, such as WhatsApp and Snapchat.
In some countries, the virus has been able to infect systems without the use of any malware.
However, in many countries, security services have stepped in and blocked access to encrypted files or the use or distribution of the ransomware.
The US Department of Homeland Security has said it is aware of a “growing number of attacks” of the malware and is working with partners around the world to address the threat.
However it warned that there are still “hundreds of thousands of unpatched infections” of ransomware, and that its teams are actively looking into the issue.
The Department of State has warned of the “potential threat” of cybercriminals using ransomware to “extort financial services providers or individuals, including credit card companies, or otherwise engage in any fraudulent activity”.
In the US, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has launched an investigation into the ransomware problem, as has the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).