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Dozens of countries hit by biggest 'ransomware' attack ever
Source: Michael

Major Ransomware Attack Hits Thousands Of Systems Worldwide

"Our focus is on supporting organizations to manage the incident swiftly and decisively", the service said in a statement, "but we will continue to communicate with NHS colleagues and will share more information as it becomes available".

Organizations around the world were digging out this weekend from what experts are calling one of the biggest cyberattacks ever.

And all this may be just a taste of what's coming, another cyber security expert warned.

Two security firms - Kaspersky Lab and Avast - said they had identified the malicious software behind the attack in upward of 70 countries, although both said the attack has hit Russian Federation hardest. Both said Russian Federation was hit hardest. There have been several incidents in the U.S., including one in IN where a hospital's IT system was taken down and patients had to be diverted to other facilities, according to a local news report.

The ransomware was created to repeatedly contact an unregistered domain listed in its code.

Alan Woodward, visiting professor of computing at the University of Surrey, said there was evidence the ransomware was spreading using a Microsoft flaw exposed in a recent leak of information from US intelligence agencies.

"It's very important everyone understands that all they (the hackers) need to do is change some code and start again".

"I don't believe it will have been a targeted attack, but will simply have been that the ransomware has sought out those organizations that are running susceptible devices", he said.

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex global investigation to identify the culprits", said Europol, Europe's policing agency.

Huss and others were calling MalwareTech a hero on Saturday, with Huss adding that the global cybersecurity community was working "as a team" to stop the infections from spreading. "It's a big priority of mine that we protect the financial infrastructure", he said.

Computer users worldwide - and everyone else who depends on them - should assume that the next big "ransomware" attack has already been launched, and just hasn't manifested itself yet, said Ori Eisen, founder of the Trusona cybersecurity firm in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Shadow Brokers released Eternal Blue as part of a trove of hacking tools that they said belonged to the us spy agency.

Phillip Misner, the Prinicipal Security Manager for the Microsoft Security Response Center, a group tasked with delivering timely security fixes and setting the priority of exploits, took to the TechNet blog to explain the company's stance on the issue and the steps it has taken. But computers and networks that didn't update their systems were still at risk.

Before Friday's attack, Microsoft had made fixes for older systems, such as 2001's Windows XP, available only to mostly larger organizations that paid extra for extended technical support.

Unfortunately however, computers already affected will not be helped by the solution.

When a system is infected, a pop-up window appears with instructions on how to pay a ransom amount of $300.

"Looking at the trends, it was going to happen", he said.

WannaCry has already caused massive disruption around the globe.

A senior nurse with NHS Lanarkshire in Scotland posted a video on Twitter appealing to members of the public "to stay away from acute hospitals unless it's an absolute emergency situation" while its IT systems remain affected.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said 48 NHS trusts were affected and all but six were now back to normal.

Researchers with security software maker Avast said they had observed 57,000 infections in 99 countries, with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan the top targets. State media reported that digital payment systems at PetroChina gas stations were offline, forcing customers to pay cash.

Major global companies said they also came under attack.

But while FedEx Corp. reported that its Windows computers were "experiencing interference" from malware - it wouldn't say if it had been hit by the ransomware - other impacts in the US were not readily apparent on Saturday.

Telecommunications company Telefonica was among many targets in Spain.

"This is turning into the biggest cybersecurity incident I've ever seen", United Kingdom -based security architect Kevin Beaumont said.

Computers were infected with what is known as "ransomware" - software that freezes up a machine and flashes a message demanding payment to release the user's data.

Michael Gazeley, managing director of cybersecurity firm Network Box, told CNN that the danger is far from over and that a company's security patch on Saturday might not still work by Monday.

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