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Italy“s government: global ransomware hack not by state entity

2023-02-06T13:17:06Z

A computer keyboard lit by a displayed cyber code is seen in this illustration picture taken on March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/

Global ransomware activity that targeted thousands of computer servers in Italy and other countries probably was the handiwork of criminal hackers and not a state or state-like entity, the Italian government said on Monday.

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

Italy’s National Cybersecurity Agency (ACN) said on Sunday that thousands of computer servers around the world had been targeted by a ransomware hacking attack against VMware VMW.N ESXi servers.

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

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