Governments, businesses worldwide brace for new ransomware attacks

Governments, businesses worldwide brace for new ransomware attacks

In addition to Russian Federation, the biggest targets appeared to be Ukraine and India, nations where it is common to find older, unpatched versions of Windows in use, according to security firms.

"Unlike most other attacks, this malware is spreading primarily by direct infection from machine to machine on local networks, rather than purely by email", said Lance Cottrell, chief scientist at the USA technology group Ntrepid.

The Scottish Government's resilience operation met on Monday to discuss the situation and heard that health boards put extra teams in place to support staff returning to work after the weekend. He added that the USA government does not recommend paying the ransom and warned that making a payment to the hackers doesn't guarantee that access to computer files will be restored.

In what one of the most significant cyberattacks ever recorded, computer systems from the Russia, Brazil and the US were hit beginning Friday by malicious software that exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

SHANGHAI-"Hundreds of thousands" of Chinese computers at almost 30,000 institutions including government agencies have been hit by the global ransomware attack, a leading Chinese security-software provider has said, though the Asian impact has otherwise been relatively muted.

Experts are still trying to determine who launched the ransomware attack. So another massive cyberattack is most likely coming.

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call", Smith said.

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However, officials and security firms said the spread was starting to slow in the country, which has the world's largest number of Internet users.

"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex global investigation to identify the culprits", said Europol, Europe's police agency. According to a Lakeridge spokesperson, however, the hospital's antivirus system was able to disable the ransomware.

Those who use Apple's Mac computers are not at risk of the recent ransomware attack.

That said, a hacker could remove the domain and try the ransomware attack again, reports CNN.

It said computers running on the desktop and server editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system are most impacted.

The minister also confirmed the attack wasn't on a government organisation. The software responsible is called WannaCry (also known as Wanna Decryptor) and it takes over your computer until a ransom is paid, CNN reported.

But it added that GP practices across the region are "still asking patients to consider delaying contacting their practice unless they really need to for the next few days to allow time to clear backlogs caused by the cyber-attack". Additionally, NBC News is reporting that at least two new variations of the malware have been detected that skirt over the temporary fix.

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