Computers across the world have been affected by another ransomware attack. The UK advertising company WPP says its computers have been affected by the attack, French construction materials company Saint-Gobain, and Russian steel and oil firms Evraz and Rosneft have also been affected. In the Ukraine, government offices have had problems with computers and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has had to monitor radiation manually. The virus, believed to be called Petrwrap, freezes the user’s computer. The hackers then demand payment in Bitcoins, an international digital currency, to unfreeze the computer. The US Department of Homeland Security advises victims not to pay the ransom. They say there is no guarantee that files will be restored. The Guardian reports that victims are given an email address to contact, but the email address has been closed by the German Internet provider Posteo. They say that they have an obligation to prevent misuse of the system. Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky believes that this is a new virus and they have detected attacks in Poland, Italy, Germany, France and the US as well as the UK, Russia and Ukraine.
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ransom – money paid to free something or someone to monitor – to check a virus – an illness for a person, a program that affects a computer negatively a guarantee – a promise that something will be done an obligation – something you have to do to detect – to find, to identify
What is ransomware? Who is being attacked? Do you think people should pay the ransom (money demanded by the hackers)?
Grammar The virus, believed to be called Petrwrap, freezes the user’s computer Why is the verb in italics in the past form? Is it a past tense or is it a description?
Highlight the text for solutions It is descriptive. This is an example of a participle clause using the past participle as an adjective and creating an adjective phrase.