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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Counting the Cost - WannaCry: A new era of cyber security: Al Jazeera English

Published on 20 May 2017
When the "WannaCry" virus hit computers in at least 150 countries around the world, some called it the beginning of a new era - an era in which hackers have become experts at finding weak spots in our online security.

There was also a kind of dawning realisation of how vulnerable organisations all over the globe are to cyber criminals.

The WannaCry attack targeted Microsoft's Windows operating system using malicious software or "ransomware". It blocked access to computer systems and demanded that victims pay money via the crypto currency bitcoin.

The world's biggest software maker was quick to point the finger of blame at the US government. But some experts say Microsoft is accountable too for the way in which it charges for new versions of its software.

With our lives becoming increasingly connected to the internet, are we likely to see the growth of things like cyber insurance? How do we even start to put a price on our data? And do governments themselves have to start budgeting to protect their populations from cyber extortion?

Our technology editor Tarek Bazely reports on the global nature of the latest threat. And Stijn Vande Casteele, the co-founder and CEO of Brussels-based Internet security company Sweepatic, joins us from Brussels.

Also on this episode of Counting the Cost:

WiFi on a plane: Why is it so difficult to get online on an airplane and could that be about to change? If you've ever used airplane WiFi, it was probably incredibly slow and very expensive. Currently not every flight offers it and if you do get online - connectivity can be poor.

If we look at the global state of the in-flight WiFi, passengers from the United States have a 66 percent chance of getting WiFi connection, while the rest of the world has only 24 percent.

But communications firms say over half the world's aircraft will be equipped for in-flight WiFi within the next six years using signals from satellites. But with more customers getting online on planes, what about security? How vulnerable to attack are the networks that keep planes in the sky?

Ben Griffen, a regional director at Inmarsat aviation, joins Counting the Cost.

OPEC vs the US shale producers: Oil has been a hot topic ahead of the OPEC meeting on May 25. For the last six months we've had a production cut in place. Compliance has been very good, it's been around 90 percent and the big hope is that will continue.

Now Saudi Arabia and Russia have said that they want global producers to continue with the cuts through to 2018. But seasonal factors which helped boost compliance in the first half of this year are fading away. And OPEC is struggling to maintain its dominance over US shale producers.

Can the world's top producers prevent another collapse in the price of crude?

Richard Mallinson joins us from Energy Aspects in London to discuss whether OPEC can keep oil prices buoyed.

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