Amidst global ransomware attack, new versions of WannaCry emerge

The most disruptive attacks were reported in the United Kingdom, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.

But the aftershocks have so far been mild.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said yesterday that a few systems of the Police Department in Andhra Pradesh were impacted and that the state government has been informed to follow the advisory by the CERT-In.

The cyberattack that spread malicious software around the world, shutting down networks at hospitals, banks and government agencies, was thwarted by a young British researcher and an low-cost domain registration, with help from another 20-something security engineer in the U.S.

Auto manufacturer Renault said one of its plants, which employs 3,500 people in Douai, northern France, wasn't reopening Monday as technicians dealt with the cyberattack's aftermath.

Experts urged organizations and companies to immediately update older Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows XP, with a patch released by the company. The exploit was leaked last month as part of a trove of USA spy tools.

Europol executive director Rob Wainwright had warned on Sunday the situation could worsen when workers return to their offices on Monday after the weekend and logged on.

"I'm anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn on their machines on Monday", he said.

If you don't already have a backup routine, start now: Regularly save copies of all your files.

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Microsoft officials say they patched the flaw months ago.

The attack is unique, according to policing agency Europol, because it combines ransomware with a worm function, meaning once one machine is infected, the entire internal network is scanned and other vulnerable machines are infected.

"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world", wrote Smith.

At least one strain of the ransomware has proven especially vicious.

With the help of leaked software developed by the National Security Agency (NSA), malicious ransomware called the Wanna Decryptor - or WannaCry - spread to 150 countries.

The NHS has been declared "open for business" but some hospitals are still suffering disruption caused by the crippling ransomware attack. You should also take extra care when opening emails that are from an unusual sender. The thieves banked on people ignoring common sense.

This image provided by the Twitter page of @fendifille shows a computer at Greater Preston CCG as Britain's National Health Service is investigating "an issue with IT" on Friday May 12, 2017.

Just think of the mess if some highly organized crime syndicate - or a government - were to try something like this.

Unlikely. With the code behind Friday's attack in the wild, we should expect copycats to cook up their own campaigns in the coming days to capitalize on the money-making opportunity in front of them.

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