Spanish companies hit by ransomware cyber attack

MADRID, SPAIN (REUTERS) – Spanish companies, including Telefonica, were hit by a so-called ransomware hack into their computer systems on Friday (May 12), with Spain’s cyber security body warning of a “massive attack” affecting several firms.

Ransomware attacks meddle with computer systems by scrambling or hi-jacking them while asking for a ransom to return them to normal.

A statement by Spain’s National Cryptology Centre said there had been an alert relating to a massive ransomware attack on various organisations, adding that a large number of firms had been hit without naming them.

A spokesman for Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica said there had been a problem with the company’s IT systems but said that this had affected only the internal network and had not hit clients or the firm’s service to customers.

It was not immediately clear how many Spanish organizations had been compromised by the attacks, if any critical services had been interrupted or whether victims had paid cyber criminals to regain access to their networks.