Ransomware attack: Who's been hit

Employees of anti-virus program development Kaspersky Lab work at their company's offices in Moscow

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.

There were 213,000 infected machines in 112 countries on Monday morning (local time), according to Czech security firm Avast, making it one of the largest coordinated attacks to hit computers across the world.

Pixabay/TypographyimagesRansomware is a serious threat to home and business networks today following WannaCry's spread in more than 150 countries around the world.

MalwareTech, whose name was revealed in United Kingdom media to be 22-year-old Marcus Hutchins, was hailed as an "accidental hero" after registering a domain name to track the spread of the virus, which actually ended up halting it.

WannaCry ransomware has infected Windows XP systems across the globe.

Shadow Brokers came to public attention last August when it mounted an unsuccessful attempt to auction off a set of older cyber-spying tools it said were stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency.

While organisations are slowly returning to normal in the aftermath of the weekend's attacks, investigators and law enforcement are looking into the attack in an effort to identify the perpetrators. Bossert said USA officials had not ruled out "state action" it appeared to be criminal, given the ransom requests.

Some victims were ignoring official advice and paying the $300 (10,350 baht) ransom demanded by the cyber criminals to unlock their computers, which was due to double to $600 on Monday for computers hit by Friday's first wave.

Kaspersky Labs's Global Research and Analysis team points out that WannaCry starts with a remote code execution in Microsoft Windows, taking advantage of a vulnerability dubbed "EternalBlue".

Companies and governments spent the weekend upgrading software to limit the spread of the virus. PSA Group, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Daimler, Toyota and Honda said their plants were unaffected. Thanks to a 22-year-old security researcher, who goes by the name @Malware technologies in Twitter.

Two months after Microsoft issued its security patch, thousands of computers remained vulnerable to the WannaCry attack.

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The Spanish telephone operator Telefonica said it had been attacked.

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said on Sunday: "We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world".

Russian President Vladimir Putin said: "Russia has absolutely nothing to do with it".

In Britain, where the virus first raised global alarm when it caused hospitals to divert ambulances on Friday, it gained traction as a political issue just weeks before a general election.

The UK's National Health Service (NHS), multinational courier delivery services company FedEx and auto manufacturers Nissan and Renault were among the worst hit by the attacks.

'Outspread of attack will be more in India as most of the computers are working on pirated versions.

However, there is no clarity yet on whether access is restored upon payment of the amount demanded.

The company said "the attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem'".

Earlier on Monday, Chinese traffic police and schools reported they had been targeted as it rolled into Asia for the new work week.

Patch your computers. They should have the latest software update.

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