2 lakh hit by 'unprecedented' cyberhack in 150 nations: Euro pol

2 lakh hit by 'unprecedented' cyberhack in 150 nations: Euro pol

The head of the European Union police agency said on Sunday the cyber assault hit 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries and that number would grow when people return to work on Monday.

Microsoft Corporation has blamed the National Security Agency (NSA) for the recent ransomware cyber attack that has affected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries.

Wainwright described the cyberattack as an "escalating threat".

The malware attack first emerged on Friday night but there were concerns of more disruption as workers switch on their computers this morning.

Cyber security experts say the spread of the virus dubbed "WannaCry" - so-called "ransomware" which locked up computers in vehicle factories, hospitals, shops and schools around the world - has slowed, but that any respite might be brief.

The global malware attack has reached Australians, the government confirmed.

An exterior view shows the main entrance of St Bartholomew's Hospital, in London, one of the hospitals whose computer systems were affected by a cyberattack, Friday, May 12, 2017.

The attack has left 47 NHS organisations affected with malware in their system, ranging from hospital trusts to commissioning support units.

AUSTRALIA may have missed the worst of the worldwide cyber attack but small businesses are still at risk of being infected by the WCry ransomware.

The attack held users hostage by freezing their computers, popping up a red screen with the words, "Oops, your files have been encrypted!" and demanding money through online bitcoin payment - $300 at first, rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.

The warning was echoed by Britain's National Cyber Security Centre: "As a new working week begins it is likely, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, that further cases of ransomware may come to light, possibly at a significant scale."The attack looks like this: images appear on victims' screens demanding payment of $300 (275 euros) in the virtual currency Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"

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BBC analysis of three accounts linked with the global attack suggests the hackers have already been paid the equivalent of £22,080.

Organisations were discouraged from paying the ransom, as it was not guaranteed that access would be restored.

MalwareTech blogger, who wants to remain anonymous, was hailed as an "accidental hero" after registering a domain name to track the spread of the virus, which actually ended up halting it.

The attacks exploited the computers because they were running outdated versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Update your antivirus software. Microsoft requires Windows 10 customers to automatically update their computers, but some people with older PCs disabled automatic updates.

NHS Digital said that 4.7 per cent of devices within the NHS use Windows XP, with the figure continuing to decrease. Download the security update right away to prevent the WannyCry ransomware from inflicting further damage.

The virus spread quickly because the culprits used a digital code believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency - and subsequently leaked as part of a document dump, according to researchers at the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

The researcher, tweeting as @MalwareTechBlog, said registering a domain name used by the malware stops it from spreading, though it can not help computers already affected. Additionally, experts warn that copycats could also try another attack.

"We have been concerned for some time that the healthcare sectors in many countries are particularly vulnerable".

The ransomware, called WannaCry, locks down files on an infected computer and asks the computer's administrator to pay in order to regain control of them.

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