Most UK patients saw no change on Monday after cyber attack - minister

Most UK patients saw no change on Monday after cyber attack - minister

Capitalising on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, the virus dubbed WannaCry has blocked more than 200,000 computers across the globe, demanding a ransom to unlock them.

Governments and computer experts girded Monday for a possible worsening of the global cyber attack that has hit more than 150 countries, as Microsoft warned against stockpiling vulnerabilities like the one at the heart of the crisis.

Although the virus's spread was curbed over the weekend in most of the world, France, where carmaker Renault was among the world's highest profile victims, said more attacks were likely.

But who else has born the brunt? In Indonesia, the ransomware locked patient files on computers in two hospitals in the capital, Jakarta, causing delays. "Attackers update their software ... other attackers will learn from the method and will carry out attacks".

In his first public comments since the attack on Friday, Mr Hunt told Sky News: "Although we have never seen anything on this scale when it comes to ransomware attacks, they are relatively common and there are things that you can do, that everyone can do, all of us can do, to protect ourselves against them".

However, the wave of attacks has slowed down significantly.

"There are certain organizations or sectors - e.g. medical - where patching is not a simple matter", Carsten Eiram, chief research officer at vulnerability intelligence firm Risk Based Security, said via email.

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Fortunately, a 22-year-old British researcher and 20-something American security engineer discovered a "kill switch" and unregistered domain that halted the attack, reports the Associated Press. Microsoft released a patch in March.

Infected computers appear to be largely out-of-date devices.

The NHS says it employs more than 1.5 million people, making it one of the world's biggest employers alongside the US Department of Defence, Walmart and the Chinese army.

The minister assisting the prime minister for cyber security, Dan Tehan, said that government agencies and the nation's critical infrastructure have not been affected by the malware campaign. The organization that oversees United Kingdom hospital cybersecurity said that last month it alerted the trusts about the Windows vulnerabilities and sent a patch to fix it. In China, universities and other educational institutions were hardest hit because they have older computers and are slow to update their operating systems and security. The opposition Labour Party accused the Conservative government of leaving the National Health Service (NHS) vulnerable.

NHS Digital said it had made health trusts aware last month of IT protection that could have prevented the damage. No major Indian corporations reported disruptions to operations.

On Friday, the Kaspersky Lab company registered about 45,000 ransomware attacks in 74 countries worldwide, with the largest number of targets located in Russian Federation. A coal port in New Zealand shut temporarily to upgrade its systems.

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