Cyber attack hits 200000 in at least 150 countries

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Earlier in the day, central transmission utility Power Grid said it has put sufficient firewalls to deal with the global cyber attack Ramsomware and consumers need not fear sudden outages on that account. A bad form of computer virus known as ransomware, it infects computers, encrypts all your files, and then demands you pay a ransom.

The attack has hit more than 75,000 computers in 99 countries.

The government on Sunday said it has activated a "preparedness and response mechanism" to prevent any major cyber attack from a new ransomware - "Wannacry" - which has infected computer systems around the world.

The unprecedented global ransomware cyberattack has hit more than 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries, Europol executive director Rob Wainwright said Sunday.

"The numbers are still going up", Wainwright said.

"Unlike most other attacks, this malware is spreading primarily by direct infection from machine to machine on local networks, rather than purely by email", said Lance Cottrell, chief scientist at the U.S. technology group Ntrepid. One did not include the so-called kill switch that allowed researchers to interrupt the malware's spread Friday by diverting it to a dead end on the internet.

"We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself", Kalember said.

After taking computers over, the virus displayed messages demanding a payment of $300 (£230) in virtual currency Bitcoin to unlock files and return them to the user.

The full extent of the damage from the cyberattack felt in 150 countries was unclear and could worsen if more malicious variations of the online extortion scheme appear.


But Mr MacGibbon said the ransomware could be adapted by the criminals and was not willing to say the threat of compromise was over.

French police said there were "more than 75,000 victims" around the globe, but cautioned that the number could increase "significantly". That low-priced move redirected the attacks to the server of Kryptos Logic, the security company he works for. That affordable move redirected the attacks to MalwareTech's server, which operates as a "sinkhole" to keep malware from escaping.

Update your antivirus software.

"NHS staff are working extremely hard to provide the best possible patient care, and we hope NHS Digital are able to resolve these problems as soon as possible". "It should just be a case of making sure installing updates is enabled, installing the updates, and reboot".

"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world". Experts say this vulnerability has been understood among experts for months, yet too many organizations either failed to take it seriously or chose not to share what they'd found.

Microsoft is one company that had made a fix in its updates of recent versions of windows, but many users didn't apply the software fix.

The ransomware exploits older versions of Microsoft's operating system software, such as Windows XP.

Now that this "WannaCry" malware is out there, the world's computer systems are vulnerable to a degree they haven't been before, unless people everywhere move quickly to install Microsoft's security patches.

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