Cyber attack hits 200000 in 150 countries

An unprecedented "ransomware" cyberattack that has already hit tens of thousands of victims in 150 countries could wreak even more havoc Monday as people return to their desks and power up their computers at the start of the work week.

The virus also has a wormlike features that looks for other vulnerable systems once it's embedded in your computer, which means it can spread to other computers in a network. Under current laws, they don't have to report the flaws to the company at risk.

"All GPs surgeries did open, though some of them had to use pen and paper".

"I think we need to keep a much closer eye on what government agencies are doing with these cyber weapons. because they could've tipped off the government, they could have tipped off users of these operating systems but they didn't, they kept those exploits to themselves".

Microsoft distributed a "fix" for the software vulnerability two months ago, but not all computer users and networks worldwide had yet made that update and thus were highly vulnerable. It demands users pay $ 300 worth of cryptocurrency Bitcoin to retrieve their files, though it warns that the payment will be raised after a certain amount of time.

Marin Ivezic, a Hong Kong-based cybersecurity partner at financial giant PwC, told Reuters that some clients had been "working around the clock since the story broke" to restore their computer systems.

He said the motivation remained unknown but ransomware attacks were normally "criminally minded". What makes WannaCry so unsafe is how it uses a Windows vulnerability to spread. Lieu said the current disclosure process is not transparent, and often misunderstood.

They are doing the same with the "phishing" emails that helped the ransomware embed itself in computers.

Some privacy advocates say that if the NSA had disclosed the vulnerability when it was first discovered, the outbreak may have been prevented.




Security experts tempered the alarm bells by saying that widespread attacks are tough to pull off.

The WannaCry malware is created to check a gobbledygook web address and shut down if it gets a response - which one researcher managed to do last week.

United Kingdom defense secretary Michael Fallon said Sunday that Britain's nuclear submarines were safe from cyberattack. "No matter how this was disclosed or when it was disclosed, some percentage of businesses would not have applied".

Local media reported Monday that patients arriving at Dharmais Cancer Hospital on the weekend were unable to get queue numbers and had to wait several hours while staff worked with paper records.

Customers using Windows Defender were also provided an update that detects the threat as Ransom:Win32/WannaCrypt. Those facilities are not unique.

The effects were felt across the globe, with Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the USA and French carmaker Renault all reporting disruptions. However, in an unusual move, Microsoft released updates on Friday for some versions it no longer supports.

The ransomware exploited a vulnerability that has been patched in updates of recent versions of Windows since March, but Microsoft didn't make freely available the patch for Windows XP and other older systems.

Researchers say this type of ransomware will continue.

The hackers released the ransomware online.

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