'WannaCry' ransomware hits 200K computers; experts say more victims likely

'WannaCry' ransomware hits 200K computers; experts say more victims likely

Earlier in the day, central transmission utility Power Grid said it has put sufficient firewalls to deal with the global cyber-attack Ramsomware and consumers need not fear sudden outages on that account. "When something happens, the finger gets pointed at the attacker, not at Microsoft", Ad Age quoted Pike as saying.

Microsoft said it had taken the "highly unusual step" of releasing a patch for computers running older operating systems including Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

With 200,000 victims across 150 countries, including the NHS from Friday's ransomware attack, the sheer speed and scale at which a cyber attack can manifest is phenomenal.

So far, Apple Mac computers are not being targeted by this cruel ransomware attack. The company published a strongly worded blog post Sunday that criticized governments for "stockpiling" information on potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

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After WannaCry, a ransomware program based on the leaked NSA exploit EternalBlue that hit hundreds of thousands of machines last week, criminals have adapted another NSA tool called EsteemAudit, security analysts tell the Financial Times.

WannaCry, the ransomware cyber attack that has affected computers worldwide has made its way to India, affecting states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Kerala.

WannaCry takes advantage of a Microsoft Windows vulnerability.

However, the creators behind "WannaCry" have quickly evolved around this domain-based kill switch and altered their code to remove the somewhat weird error and restart their ransomware campaign. In most cases, they change the wallpaper of the computer and give specific instructions telling the user how to pay to recover their files.

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A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack, as captured by a computer user in Taiwan, is seen on laptop in Beijing.

Smith also noted that Microsoft released a patch almost two months prior for the very vulnerability the WannaCrypt ransomware exploited, but a failure to install the patch left hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of computers around the world vulnerable. So even people with older computers should update them.

Organizations have been urged to update their systems immediately to ensure that they are not affected by the ransomware.

One theory suggested that 90 percent of NHS trusts across the United Kingdom were using Microsoft's 16-year-old OS Windows XP, which could leave them susceptible to attacks.

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When Shadow Brokers first released the NSA exploit that drives WannaCry infections three months ago, Microsoft quickly issued a patch for anyone who bothered to update Windows.

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