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Thai hospitals, companies hit by cyber attacks


HOSPITALS and companies in Thailand were hit by hackers who held their computer systems and data ransom, demanding payment to restore information, police said on Thursday.

"Government hospitals and companies were hacked in the same manner as Saraburi Hospital," Major General Phanthana Nutchanart said, referring to a cyber attack earlier this month.

Saraburi Hospital could not access its data on Sept 5, which slowed its operations as it relied on manual functions, but the hospital did not receive a demand for payment.

Some organisations that received ransom demands have already paid to retrieve data, in sums not exceeding one million baht (S$43,689), he said. The total number of organisations affected was still being investigated, he added.

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Hackers attacked organisations with a "ransomware" code, which locks up the files on a computer and encrypts them, blocking access until the ransom is paid, usually in cryptocurrency such as bitcoin.

In 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack disrupted hospitals and businesses across the world. Thai police believe that the virus originated in Europe. REUTERS

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