Global cyberattack: A super-simple explanation of what happened

  • Global cyberattack: A super-simple explanation of what happened

Global cyberattack: A super-simple explanation of what happened

Mr Smith accused U.S. intelligence agencies the CIA and the National Security Agency of "stockpiling" information about softwave weakspots which could then be exploited by criminals. But no new large-scale outbreaks were reported, and British officials said a feared second wave of infections had not materialized. That affordable move redirected the attacks to the server of Kryptos Logic, the security company he works for.

As terrifying as the unprecedented global "ransomware" attack was, cybersecurity experts say it's nothing compared to what might be coming - especially if companies and governments don't make major fixes.

Microsoft blamed government secrecy for the rapid spread of the virus.

But he aimed his sharpest criticisms at the US and other nations.

The U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre said Sunday that there have been "no sustained new attacks" of the kind that struck Friday.

"You are dealing with a criminal", he said. The impact is said to be bigger than the CoNFicker attack in 2008 that hit 190 countries.

However, it seems that many NHS trusts had not applied it or were using an older version of the operating system which is no longer supported - Windows XP.

The attack, which was an attempt to extort millions from the affected entities, was stopped when the researcher, identified only as "MalwareTech", discovered the "kill switch" and put an end to the scheme. Two security firms - Kaspersky Lab and Avast - said they had identified the malicious software behind the attack in over 70 countries, although both said the attack had hit Russian Federation the hardest.

India is among the most vulnerable because a large number of organisations and individuals still rely on older, outdated versions of the Windows operating system. Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and top lawyer, said Sunday that the company has the "first responsibility" to address the problem.

In Australia, Alistair MacGibbon, special adviser to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Cyber Security, said some small businesses would likely be hit "but as a whole of nation we can be confident, so far, that we have missed the worst of this".

The company described the temporary halt in production as a "preventative step". Among the other victims is a Nissan manufacturing plant in Sunderland, England. If past ransomware attacks are any guide, chances are pretty high that the data is gone forever.

Hitachi spokeswoman Yuko Tainiuchi said emails were slow or not getting delivered, and files could not be opened. Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows systems. "Because they could have done something ages ago to get this problem fixed, and they didn't do it".

That quick thinking may have saved governments and companies millions of dollars and slowed the outbreak before US -based computers were more widely infected.

Britain's National Cyber Security Center has joined others in warning that more cases of "ransomware" attacks may come to light as a new work week starts Monday.

"NHS Scotland systems are being recovered, we expect them to have returned to normal by Monday, and it is important to emphasise that there is no evidence that patient data has been compromised". CJ CGV Co. was restoring its advertising servers at dozens of its movie theatres after the attack left the company unable to display trailers of upcoming movies.

Cooper said the worst hit are organisations that don't have security "hygiene" in place.

United Kingdom hospitals descended into chaos after the attack. The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries.

Officials across the globe scrambled over the weekend to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that disrupted operations at auto factories, hospitals, shops and schools, while Microsoft on Sunday pinned blame on the US government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities.

Chinese state media say more than 29,000 institutions across China have been infected by the global "ransomware" cyberattack.