Australia and NZ largely escape global cyber attack

But that apparently is not the case for governments in other countries such as Russian Federation, which has reported attempted breaches at a number of agencies.

It is not known how the attack has affected GP surgeries, which are due to open as usual on Monday.

People are advised to attend any hospital or doctor appointments as normal, unless they are contacted and told not to. "The damage could be much more than financial in sectors such as manufacture, traditional health care and power generation which have not patched their systems to ensure security for long", he added. "We will continue to work with affected (organizations) to confirm this", the agency said.

Since the encryption does not happen instantly, the user should immediately try to back-up the essential files as soon as possible.

Around a fifth of NHS trusts were hit in the attack, forcing them to postpone operations and procedures over the weekend. "What we don't do in our NHS is micromanage it from the desk".

Hackers were able to exploit a flaw in Microsoft's code from information stolen from the US National Security Agency and subsequently made public - ironically as part of a programme to beef up security by identifying flaws and building solutions.

Microsoft has already released a fix for the particular vulnerability, before the spread of the ransomware.

"As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems", Smith wrote.

"Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past".

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there weren't any concerns about damage in the country.

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Investigators from around the globe, including the National Crime Agency, are working to hunt down those responsible for the virus.

The threat receded over the weekend after a British-based researcher, who declined to give his name but tweets under the profile @MalwareTechBlog, said he stumbled on a way to at least temporarily limit the worm's spread by registering a web address to which he noticed the malware was trying to connect. While a United Kingdom security researcher managed to stop the spread of the virus, hackers have issued new versions that cybersecurity organizations are trying to counter and stamp out.

The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center, a nonprofit group, said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were affected.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Ashworth accused the Government of "raiding" NHS capital budgets to fund day-to-day spending.

"But let me just assure you, we are spending money on strengthening the cyber defence of our hospital system".

However, security minister Ben Wallace blamed changes under the last Labour government to stop contracting across the NHS with Microsoft, instead leaving IT up to individual trusts.

The first instance of this series of attacks was reported in England, where the National Healthcare System (NHS) was frozen by the program, causing disruption services to such a degree that several hospitals had to refuse patients. The statement said antivirus systems are working to destroy it.

"Planned operations are also going ahead as scheduled".

What can be done if you're a victim to a ransomware cyber attack?

The Windows software was installed on the submarines "to save money rather than meet the cost of a tailored system", says The Guardian, but nuclear subs "have been designed for nearly complete isolation when at sea", making them nearly impossible to hack. While the map does not reflect the condition of every computer that was infected by the ransomware, it does provide a fair representation of the scope of the attack across the world, thanks to data collected by MalwareTech.

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