Ransomware attack hit more than 100000 organizations, says Interpol

But many corporations don't automatically update their systems, because Windows updates can screw up their legacy software programs.

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. "I am anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning".

Organizations around the world were digging out this weekend from what experts are calling one of the biggest cyberattacks ever.

In this case, he said, the NSA apparently handed the WannaCry makers a blueprint - pre-written code for exploiting the flaw, allowing the attackers to essentially cut and paste that code into their own malware. Experts also advise users to back up important data on storage devices that are physically disconnected and install anti-virus software that can detect and prevent the spread of malware.

Because it's possible for the perpetrators to alter the code to use a different domain, MalwareTech and others warned the ransomware could continue spreading.

Darien Huss, a 28-year-old research engineer who assisted the anonymous British researcher lauded a hero, said he was "still anxious for what's to come in the next few days because it really would not be so hard for the actors behind this to re-release their code without a kill switch or with a better kill switch".

"In India, no reports have been formally received so far regarding this ransomware attack". Copycat attacks could follow.

"We're in the face of an escalating threat", Wainwright said. Europol said that the malware attack was of an unprecedented level, and that the numbers were still increasing.

Microsoft released a security patch for the vulnerabilities in March. But computers and networks that didn't update their systems were still at risk.

At the National Health Service, many computers still run the outdated Windows XP software, which Microsoft has stopped supporting.

"On Monday morning at the start of the new working week we can expect, it's likely that successful attacks from Friday that haven't yet become apparent will become apparent", he told the Press Association.

Who was/were responsible for this attack?

WannaCry has already caused massive disruption around the globe.

Gas stations: State-run media in China reported that some gas stations saw their digital payment systems shut down, forcing customers to bring cash.

Major global companies said they also came under attack.

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.

Russia's interior ministry said some of its computers had been hit by a "virus attack" and that efforts were underway to destroy it.

Broadcaster NTV reported 600 companies and 2,000 computers in Japan had been affected.

United Kingdom defense secretary Michael Fallon said Sunday that Britain's nuclear submarines were safe from cyberattack. The spread of hacking attacks has made legal versions of software more popular, as they provide automatic updates of security upgrades.

He argued there should be "a new requirement for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them". With ransomware, criminals typically trick individuals into opening an email attachment containing malicious software. Here's how to turn automatic updates on. Soon after the leak, hackers infected thousands of vulnerable machines with a backdoor called DOUBLEPULSAR.

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