Hackers used stolen NSA methods in massive, worldwide ransomware attack

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European officials said at least 100-thousand organizations in 150 countries were affected by global ransomware attack.

"We are very aware that attacks on critical services such as the NHS have a massive impact on individuals and their families, and we are doing everything in our power to help them restore these vital services", he said.

"Looking at the trends, it was going to happen", he said.

Government of India on Sunday said it has activated a "preparedness and response mechanism" to prevent any major cyber attack from a new ransomware - "Wannacry" - which has infected computer systems around the world. His concerns were echoed by James Clapper, former director of national intelligence under President Barack Obama. Many of those victims will be businesses, including large corporations.

He said it was too early to say who was behind the onslaught and what their motivation was, aside from the obvious demand for money. Robinson, in an interview by e-mail, said he calculated the total based on payments tracked to bitcoin addresses specified in the ransom demands.

Spanish telco giant Telefonica and United States delivery service FedEx were among the businesses affected.

Students at universities in China were locked out of their work, including dissertations and thesis papers, according to Chinese media and reported by The Associated Press. Several cybersecurity firms said they had identified the malicious software behind the attack in upward of 60 countries, with Russian Federation appar-ently the hardest hit. "There were the same attacks applied to Nissan on Friday and in other areas of the economy and indeed around the world", Fallon said.

"It's quite an easy change to make, to bypass the way we stopped it", MalwareTech, who uses an alias, told the Associated Press. Customers running anti-malware software from any number of security companies can confirm with their provider, that they are protected.

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The WannaCry malware exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that was reportedly developed and used by the U.S. National Security Agency. Security researchers said the ransomware was created on code from NSA malware strains that were recently leaked by the mysterious Shadow Brokers hacker group.

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

In a blog post Brad Smith wrote that after a vulnerability was identified a security update was released for newer Windows systems, but "many remained unpatched globally".

Experts were scrambling to determine who was behind the attack, which exploited a security flaw in older versions of Microsoft's Windows operating software.

There were no reported cases in New Zealand. However, in an unusual move, Microsoft released updates on Friday for some versions it no longer supports. "They're processing a lot of sensitive data".

British cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley doesn't want to blame the NSA for the attack.

The Garda had said early on Sunday there was no identified cyber attack on any Irish State computer system from the wave of global ransomware attacks. "But there's clearly some culpability on the part of the USA intelligence services".