Reuters/Carlos Barria A ransomware-like attack that infected more than 2,000 computers and wiped data from over 40,000 people has made it into the top 10 most-wanted list worldwide, according to a security firm that tracks the threat.
The number of infections, which began late on Monday, is a record for ransomware, the firm said.
Researchers at security firm Sophos said the attack took place on March 22 and the total number of infected computers in the world was nearly 40,600.
“This is the largest attack of its kind in the history of the ransomware,” Sophos Chief Security Officer John Witte said.
The ransomware is designed to infect computers using a series of different commands, making it difficult to determine where it originated.
The researchers said that more than 3,400 infected computers have been identified worldwide, making this the second largest outbreak of its type, behind the 2016 Westgate hotel siege in California.
Security firms say ransomware is a form of digital piracy, often spreading via email, text messages and social media.
It requires no physical access to an infected computer.