Microsoft says cyberattack should be wake up call for governments

Tuesday, 16 May, 2017

Some security experts expect a second wave of the attack to start Monday morning, as employees arrive at work and turn on affected computers.

Other reported victims include Spanish multinational broadband and telecommunications provider Telefonica, American multinational courier delivery services company FedEx and universities in China.

The Russian Interior Ministry confirmed it was among those that fell victim to the "ransomware" - software that locks up a computer and typically flashes a message demanding payment to re-lease the user's data.

Ms Rudd said the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) were now part of an "international manhunt" to find the perpetrators. Several cybersecurity firms said they had identified the malicious software behind the attack in upward of 60 countries, with Russian Federation appar-ently the hardest hit. "As expected, the attackers have released new variants of the malware".

MalwareTech, who wants to remain anonymous, was hailed as an "accidental hero" after registering a domain name to track the spread of the virus, which actually ended up halting it. However, officials and security firms said the spread was starting to slow.

Hitachi: The Japanese electronics firm said Monday that its computer systems have been experiencing problems since the weekend, including not being able to send and receive emails or open attached files. "Previous concerns of a wide-scale infection of domestic institutions did not eventuate".

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "Friday's attack has highlighted the need for everyone to have appropriate and robust measures in place to protect against cyber-attacks which could strike any IT system at any time".

Microsoft even had to create a new patch for Windows XP, an operating system it hasn't supported since 2014. Microsoft released patches last month and on Friday to fix a vulnerability that allowed the worm to spread across networks.

WannaCry uses a vulnerability in old versions of Windows that was originally discovered and exploited by the U.S. National Security Agency as an offensive cyber-weapon.

What should I do if my computer has been infected?

Some hospitals were forced to cancel procedures and appointments, as ambulances were directed to neighbouring hospitals free from the computer virus. "There's always more we can all do to make sure we're secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack".

National Health Service: At least sixteen NHS organizations have been hit, according to NHS Digital.

In its Saturday's statement, the NHS wrote that the reason some of their systems were not updated "may be because some expensive hardware (such as MRI scanners) can not be updated immediately". Despite the tens of thousands of infected computers worldwide, all demanding $300 so far, only a little over $36,000 Dollars has been sent to the attackers. A system Microsoft stopped supporting years ago.

"We are aware some bodies, which range from practices to trusts, may have suspended selected systems purely as a precautionary measure", a spokesman said. The bureau had raised its cyber security of critical infrastructure, government departments and key businesses, it added.

Elsewhere in Asia, the impact seems to have been more limited.

The unprecedented global cyberattack has hit more than 200,000 victims in scores of countries, Europol said Sunday, warning that the situation could escalate when people return to work. Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past. No major Indian corporations reported disruptions to operations.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour have both demanded an inquiry into the cyber-attack.

An worldwide effort is under way to track down the criminals behind an unprecedented global cyber attack that wreaked havoc across the NHS.