Ransomware attack should be wake-up call for govts

World's biggest cyberattack hits 150 countries the threat is'escalating

Interior Ministry: The Russian Interior Ministry acknowledged a ransomware attack on its computers, adding that less than 1% of computers were affected.

The WannaCry worm has affected more than 200,000 Windows computers around the world since Friday, disrupting vehicle factories, global shipper FedEx Corp and Britain's National Health Service, among others. Users are confronted with a screen demanding a $300 payment to restore their files. Russia's Interior Ministry and companies including Spain's Telefonica, FedEx Corp.in the USA and French carmaker Renault all reported troubles. "They've been able to manage through it".

As for anonymous bitcoin transactions, he said, it is sometimes possible to follow them until an identifiable person is found. The initial attack had started after many offices had closed Friday.

Writing on the company's website, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith gave a post-mortem of last Friday's "WannaCrypt" cyber-attack, which spread across the world thanks to a database of exploits stolen from the US' National Security Agency (NSA).

The attack therefore spread faster than previous, smaller-scale ransomware attacks. "On China's most prestigious college campuses, students reported being locked out of their final papers". Eastern time, according to a report by The Financial Times. "However, Hitachi and others have mostly only reported loss of email and other secondary functionalities".

The White House held emergency meetings Friday and Saturday to assess the global cyber threat, a White House official said Sunday.

Government agencies and universities were among those hit as well as petrol stations, ATMs and hospitals, it said.

"The National Health Service says in a statement", We are aware of a cyber security incident and we are working on a response".

Smith said Microsoft has the "first responsibility" to address the problem.

The identity of whoever deployed the software remains unknown.

Microsoft's top lawyer has called on governments around the world to treat the worldwide cyber attack as a "wake-up call" as he laid part of the blame at the door of the United States administration.

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen". The tools were made public by a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers. The malware is targeting Microsoft's Windows operating systems. But the success of the attack shows that not enough people took advantage of the patch. The NSA tools were stolen by hackers and dumped on the internet.

Telefónica: Spanish authorities confirmed the Spanish telecom company Telefónica was one of the targets, though the attack affected only some computers and did not compromise the security of clients' information.

A 22-year-old British researcher identified online as "MalwareTech" saw the findings and activated a "kill switch" for the attack, slowing its spread.

In Asia, where Friday's attack occurred after business hours, thousands of new cases were reported on Monday as people came back to work.

Then you may want to consider a service contract from a local company such as SofTech They have an annual computer maintenance plan that covers any and all in-store computer repairs whenever you need it, for one yearly fee.

Keep all the software on your computer up-to-date. We took this action because we put all of our customers first, and knew this was a step we could take for maximum global protection. And remember that any account can be compromised.

"The number of infected computers has not increased as expected, which is a success", European law enforcement agency Europol said Monday. This will make it much easier to spot potentially malicious files.

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