A 'second wave' of ransomware could broaden global cyberattack

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Elsewhere in Europe, the attack hit companies including Spain's Telefonica, a global broadband and telecommunications company. 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. The game's website was working Sunday, but the game has been shut down until the owners can recover from the attack. Use a reputable security software to prevent attacks in the future. But many corporations don't automatically update their systems, because Windows updates can screw up their legacy software programs.

Across an ocean, Darien Huss, a 28-year-old research engineer for the cyber security firm Proofpoint, was doing his own analysis, noticing the authors of the malware had left in a feature known as a kill switch.

"However, we must remain particularly vigilant against further incidents and the Scottish Government is taking action to enhance security, including contacting over 120 public bodies to ensure they have appropriate defences in place".

Many workers had already logged off their computers on Friday when the malware began spreading, wreaking havoc on the U.K.'s hospital network, Germany's railway system, and companies around the world.

Sir Michael said the NHS had been warned over cyber threats in the months before Friday's attack but every effort is going into protecting the NHS.

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In a blog post late Sunday, Microsoft President Brad Smith appeared to tacitly acknowledge what researchers had already widely concluded: The ransomware attack leveraged a hacking tool, built by the U.S. National Security Agency, that leaked online in April. Normally, such patches are reserved for organisations willing to pay for extended support. Business take longer to install critical updates and patches, often to avoid impacting any legacy software they are running.

Bishop said departmental level, government level and departmental heads must take necessary steps since it was something they were aware about, Sky News reported. That way if your machine gets infected and your photos and documents are encrypted, you don't need to worry about losing them. The server operates as a "sinkhole" to collect information about malware - and in Friday's case kept the malware from escaping.

CERT spokesperson Declan Ingram told Checkpoint with John Campbell it was still unclear at this stage if any computers in New Zealand were infected with WannaCry, or whether the reports related to other viruses, but each report needed to be looked at individually. A kill switch was quickly found, but an updated version reportedly lacks the kill switch. Short of paying, options for these individuals and companies are usually limited to recovering data files from a backup, if available, or living without them.

WannaCry exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows first identified by United States intelligence.

British cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley doesn't want to blame the NSA for the attack. "But there's clearly some culpability on the part of the USA intelligence services". Robinson, in an interview by e-mail, said he calculated the total based on payments tracked to bitcoin addresses specified in the ransom demands.

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