News in Brief: Bank holiday-celebrating Denmark among those targeted by ransomware attack

In other news, the perils of the hair of the dog and opening a poisonous book

It is believed Denmark got off lightly despite being one of 99 countries cyber-attacked yesterday by hackers using ransomware – an infection that encrypts files and then demands payment in Bitcoin (of around 2,000 kroner) to unlock them. Leif Jensen, the managing director of the Nordic department of the IT security firm Kaspersky, told TV2 that Denmark was targeted “within the first few hours of the attack”. However, the country was celebrating a bank holiday at the time, so maybe the full extent might not be known until the country returns to work on Monday. Peter Kruse from the CSIS Security Group told TV2 that Danish healthcare had similar security to the British system, which was hit badly by Friday’s cyber-attack, and is therefore vulnerable to future attacks. According to PandaLabs, only 0.65 percent of Danish computers were attacked during the first three months of 2017 – one of the lowest rates in Europe.

Hair of the dog connection to alcoholism – Danish study
People who suffer from bad hangovers are twice as likely to become an alcoholic than those who do not, according to a study by Statens Institut for Folkesundhed, Denmark’s institute of public health, reports Metroxpress. The study assessed drinkers who had consumed the same amount of alcohol. Professor Janne Tolstrup conceded the most likely explanation is that those with bad hangovers are more likely to drink again – the hair of the dog option – to relieve the symptoms.

Agatha would approve: Books laced with arsenic
Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark are trying to establish why the covers of several books in its collection are covered with arsenic – a toxic substance often used by murderers in Agatha Christie books that can also be fatal if touched. The books in question are from 40,000 purchased 49 years ago from the Herlufsholm boarding school, which started it collection back in the 1560s. The poisonous books recall the plot of Umberto Eco’s ‘The Name of the Rose’. Researchers, which only started documenting the collection last year, believe arsenic might have been used to decorate the books because of its aesthetically pleasing green colour.