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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

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.

Manhattan prosecutors reportedly obtain millions of pages of Trump's tax records

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Manhattan district attorney is now in possession of millions of pages of former President Trump's tax and financial records, CNN first reported, following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed prosecutors to enforce a subpoena after a lengthy legal battle.

Why it matters: Trump fought for years to keep his tax returns out of the public eye and away from prosecutors in New York, who are examining his business in a criminal investigation that was first sparked by hush-money payments made by Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen during the 2016 election.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The digital dollar is now high priority for the Fed

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. is starting to get serious about a central-bank-backed digital currency, with recent comments from top officials laying out the strongest support yet.

Driving the news: On Tuesday Fed chair Jerome Powell told Congress that developing a digital dollar is a "high priority project for us," but added that there are "significant technical and policy questions."