'200000 users, 150 countries hit by ransomware'

Worldwide ransomware cyberattacks What we know

The spread of the worm dubbed WannaCry - "ransomware" that locked up more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries - began after hours on Friday Australian time, scrambling data and demanding payments of $300 to $600 to restore access.

Although experts had voiced fears that a second wave of attacks could strike systems on Monday, the British authorities said this appeared to have been avoided.

"I was all ready to go, then at 1.30 pm the surgeon turned up and said there's nothing we can do", he told the BBC, citing concerns that if he needed a transfusion, doctors would not be able to accurately match his blood type.

Hospitals have said that the security updates sent out by IT chiefs failed to protect them from the cyberattack, amid political finger-pointing over responsibility for the NHS chaos. "More details in June", it added.

Bossert said that while USA officials had not ruled out the possibility that it was a "state action", he said it appeared to be criminal, given the ransom requests.

The NHS has been declared "open for business" but some hospitals are still suffering disruption caused by the crippling ransomware attack.

Britain spends about £145bil (RM807.3bil) a year on health, or about a fifth of its state budget.

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Europol's European Cybercrime Centre said that anyone hit by ransomware should use the unlocking tools provided at NoMoreRansom.org, a free resource developed by Europol in partnership with the Dutch police and other industry partners. People should continue to use the NHS wisely. "The fact that so many computers remained vulnerable two months after the release of a patch illustrates this aspect".

The organisation also recommended that trusts ensure security software patches were up-to-date and that up-to-date virus software was also being used.

Subject to approval, Shona Robison, MSP, health secretary, will make a Parliamentary statement on the attacks today.

Britain's spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, warned in 2014 that some NHS organisations had "limited understanding of the threat and they do not yet understand what would represent an appropriate level of threat protection". "It was clear warnings were given to hospital trusts but this is not something that focused on attacking the NHS here on the United Kingdom".

Patients are no longer being diverted away from hospital accident and emergency units after restrictions put in place following the cyber attack on the health service were lifted, NHS England has said.

"At this stage, it does seem like that we have missed the major impact of this ransomware incident", Tehan said on Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.

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