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@fendifille via AP

Today Spain's largest telecom company in was hit with pop-ups demanding ransoms before employees could gain access to files. But it wasn't just Spain. The ransomware swept around the globe as the day progressed, hitting 73 other countries, including England's National Health Service, which left doctors and patients scrambling for information and care services unless they paid the ransoms. Reports have just surfaced that the ransomware has come to the U.S. as well.

Our thought bubble: This isn't just about user accounts, credit cards, or corporate security — all areas in which breaches are more common. The AP reports ransomware attacks are on the rise. Plus, when one computer is compromised, it can affect an entire corporate network, according to Spain's National Cryptologic Center, and your computer can be affected before you even touch it.

The progression of events:

  • After reports came out about Spain, England's National Health Service was attacked by similar popups.
  • Over a few hours, reports surfaced that similar cyber attacks hit 74 countries around the world, for a whopping total of 45,000 attacks, according to Kaspersky's Lab Global Research & Analysis Team, one of the top cybersecurity firms in the world. Russia was the country with the most targets, per Kaspersky.
  • It is believed that the group running these attacks exploited a vulnerability the hacking group, Shadow Brokers, exposed from NSA files in April. Microsoft said it already issued patches for these holes, but it appears many users haven't updated their systems yet, per the AP.
  • Many companies in Spain have regained control of their systems, per the AP.
  • ArsTechnica reports MalwareTechBlog stopped the attack by taking control of a key domain name.

Go deeper

Some Republicans fear a win on abortion could come back to bite them

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Republicans are on the brink of achieving a decades-long conservative project — overturning abortion rights — but some strategists worry that the party isn’t ready for the political dangers of this monumental victory.

Why it matters: The GOP has the best political environment in a decade leading into the midterms — and the last thing top party operatives want is for the Democratic base to become energized if the Supreme Court narrows or overturns Roe v. Wade.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

MLB enters first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is in a management lockout — the first work stoppage since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.