Ransomware attack should be wake-up call for governements

The malware exploits a Microsoft Windows vulnerability in previous versions of Windows and the company is blasting the US National Security Agency, which apparently discovered and exploited the flaw for intelligence purposes.

Researchers with security software maker Avast said they had observed 57,000 infections in 99 countries with Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan the top targets.

"Bearing in mind the impact of the global cyber-attack, we would urge people to be patient with NHS staff who may still be dealing with disruption on Monday".

But Opposition parties have criticised the government, saying they had cut funding to the NHS IT budget and a contract to protect computer systems was not renewed after 2015.

An worldwide manhunt was under way for the plotters behind the world's biggest-ever computer ransom assault, which has hit more than 200,000 victims and has affected more than 150 countries. It then tells the user that their files have been locked and displays information on how much is to be paid and when - payment is taken in Bitcoin.

Microsoft President Brad Smith, in a blog post Sunday, said the attack is a "wake-up call" for governments in the USA and elsewhere to stop stockpiling tools to exploit digital vulnerabilities.

Cybersecurity experts predict that the scope of the attack could expand as people return to work and resume work on computers, CNN reported on Monday.

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the United States military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Smith wrote.

Mr Savvides says the single best way to beat "ransomware" attacks is to back up your files.

"This is one of the largest global ransomware attacks the cyber-community has ever seen", said Rich Barger, director of threat research with Splunk, one of the firms that linked WannaCry to the NSA.

A statement by the Trust on social media says: "We appreciate this situation is causing frustration and anxiety for our patients, but we would like to reassure patients that we will be in touch with them to re-arrange appointments once our IT system is restored".

England's National Health Service said 47 organisations providing care had been hit and on Sunday afternoon seven hospitals were continuing to divert patients from the emergency room.

He added: "The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call".

The spread of this ransomware is not now known, by MacGibbon said it was most likely by email.

Microsoft released a patch over the weekend for the Eternal Blue vulnerability that defends against it even with older versions of Windows.

  • Zachary Reyes