Italy sounds cyber warning

Thousands of computer servers around the world have been targeted by a ransomware hacking attack, according to Italy’s National Cybersecurity Agency (ACN).

It urged organisations to take action to protect their systems.

The hacking attack sought to exploit a software vulnerability, ACN director general Roberto Baldoni said, adding it was on a massive scale.

Italy’s ANSA news agency, citing the ACN, reported that servers had been compromised in other European countries such as France and Finland as well as the United States and Canada.

According to reports, dozens of Italian organizations were likely to have been affected and many more had been warned to take action to avoid being locked out of their systems.

“No evidence has emerged pointing to aggression by a state or hostile state-like entity”, an Italian government statement said, adding that no major Italian institution or company operating in critical national security sectors had been affected.

The hack was identified on 3 February and reached its peak on Sunday, said the statement, which added that the hackers were taking advantage of a software exploit first identified two years earlier, in February 2021.

“Some of the recipients of that advice took the warning into due consideration, others did not and unfortunately are now paying the consequences,” the statement added.

Telecom Italia customers had also reported internet problems over the weekend, but the two issues are not believed to be related.

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