Telefonica and other Spanish firms hit by major cyber attack

James Pearce
Published on:

Telefonica has been named as one of a number of Spanish companies hit by a major ransomware attack

Spain’s National Cryptology Centre said there had been a major alert relating to cyber attacks on a number of companies, which affected Windows-based computers.

Telefonica was hit by the WannaCry virus, which encrypts sensitive user data, making it unusable and demanding a ransom.

The Spanish operator confirmed in a statement that it had been subject to a “sybersecurity incident” that was limited to its employees computers, used on its internal network. The operator said it had not impacted clients or services.

Reports in Spain claim the operator had ordered staff to switch off their laptops in order to be safe, although this was unconfirmed.

"News has been exaggerated and our colleagues are working on it right now," Telefonica chief data officer Chema Alonso said on Twitter.

Vodafone’s Spanish unit also ordered staff to switch off their devices in case they had been compromised, according to several reports. Reuters claimed that Iberdrola (IBE.MC) and Gas Natura were among other firms to be affected.