NHS hospitals hit by ransomware attack

NHS hospitals hit by ransomware attack

NHS hospitals hit by ransomware attack

Europol said a special task force at its European Cybercrime Centre was "specially created to assist in such investigations and will play an important role in supporting the investigation".

The ransomware took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Images appear on victims' screens demanding payment of United States dollars 300 (275 euros) in the virtual currency Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"

But experts and government alike warn against ceding to the hackers' demands. Bossert said the USA hasn't ruled out involvement by a foreign government, but that the recent ransom demands suggest a criminal network.

"It only guarantees that the malicious actors receive the victim's money, and in some cases, their banking information". All it needs is for one computer on any network to be infected, for the attack to spread to other linked computers. Many of those victims will be businesses, including large corporations.

Sir Michael said: "That is a ten-year programme and part of the cost of that programme has to come from efficiency savings, getting rid for example of land and barracks and buildings that we don't need, being more efficient in the way that we work".

Experts fear the situation could further aggravate as a number of computers in India run on the older operating systems and have not been updated yet.

"Because WannaCrypt used a single hardcoded domain, my registration of it caused all infections globally to believe they were inside a sandbox ... thus we initially unintentionally prevented the spread", the researcher said, humbly and anonymously, in his blog post.

Companies and governments spent the weekend upgrading software to limit the spread of the virus.

Carmaker Renault said one of its French plants, which employs 3,500 people, wasn't reopening Monday as a "preventative step".

Reports suggest that almost 100 countries, including India, were hit by the massive cyber-attack.

In Germany, train operator Deutsche Bahn wrote on Twitter that signboards in stations were affected, though no train operations were affected.

Chinese media reported Sunday that students at several universities were hit, blocking access to their thesis papers and dissertation presentations. Microsoft released a patch back in March, but many users and organizations had not updated their systems with the the fix.

He became an worldwide sensation after he prevented hundreds of thousands of computers from being infected by the virus that wreaked havoc across the NHS.

"There are things you can do that everyone can do (.) in particular making sure that our data is properly backed up and making sure that we are using the software patches", said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

On Sunday MalwareTech issued a warning that hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the kill switch.

The security researcher, named in reports as Marcus Hutchins, was hailed an "accidental hero" for his discovery of the WannaCry virus's kill switch.

"You are dealing with a criminal", he said. "Now I should probably sleep".

Speaking to MailOnline, the cyber specialist, known as MalwareTech, said: "In future someone might want to retaliate - they could find my identity within seconds".

In Indonesia, the malware locked patient files on computers in two hospitals in the capital, Jakarta, causing delays.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of seven leading world economies meeting for a G7 conference in Italy on Saturday will pledge stronger cooperation against cyber crime, a draft communique showed. The danger will be discussed at the G7 leaders' summit next month.

Britain's National Health Service (NHS) had been particularly affected by the attack, which froze thousands of computer systems and demanded owners pay a "fine" to continue using their machines.