10:28 GMT16 May 2021
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    A new virus which encrypts files on computers and demands a ransom has spread throughout Greece, where hundreds of computers and networks have reportedly become infected.

    A computer virus demanding bitcoins as ransom for encrypted files is spreading through Greece, the country's police cybersecurity unit said on Wednesday.

    The virus has infected both personal computers and corporate networks, according to Greek police. The virus, identified as CryptoWall, appears to be a successor of CryptoLocker, a computer virus active between 2013 and 2014, which is estimated to have extorted at least $3 million in bitcoin ransoms.

    "In the past several days, the situation has intensified, there are thousands of messages about the infection of corporate networks," the Greek police statement said.

    Greek police advised users to not pay the ransom to contain the spread of the virus, as well as take extra precautions when opening emails

    According to cybersecurity experts, it is possible to delete the malware from a computer but there is no real way to decrypt the files. In the case of the CryptoLocker virus, one cybersecurity company was able to copy the database of encryption keys used by the virus, allowing users to eventually decrypt them.


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    hacker attack, encryption, cybersecurity, virus, Greece
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