5 ways to become a smaller target for ransomware hackers

Ransomware attacks What makes healthcare most vulnerable

"All business computers of local governments are also safe from the attack as they are linked to the ministry's computer center", the official said, adding that the center completed security patch updates, especially for servers and PCs that use MS Windows.

The latest virus attack last week exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by U.S. intelligence.

In Britain, many hospitals and clinics that are part of the country's national health service were still having computer problems.

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the United States military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".

Smith went on to compare the NSA's exploit stockpiling to "the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", before continuing: "Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage".

US President Donald Trump ordered his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, to hold an emergency meeting Friday night.

In his first public comments since the attack on Friday, Mr Hunt told Sky News: "Although we have never seen anything on this scale when it comes to ransomware attacks, they are relatively common and there are things that you can do, that everyone can do, all of us can do, to protect ourselves against them".

Microsoft's top lawyer is laying some of the blame at the feet of the USA government.

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

Smith is urging world leaders need to consider following the "same rules applied to weapons in the physical world" for Internet vulnerabilities.

He argued there should be "a new requirement for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them".

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Wainwright described the cyberattack as an "escalating threat".

"We are working with customers to provide additional assistance as this situation evolves", the company said.

Security experts advised victims not to cough up the ransom, and Mr Op Gen Oorth said that, so far, relatively few had.

Windows users should update their software to avoid the ransomware, security experts say.

The attack largely infected networks that used out-of-date software, such as Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer offers technical support for.

The ransomware was temporarily brought to a halt Friday when an English cyber-security researcher accidentally activated a "kill switch" by purchasing a web domain for GBP £8 (US$ 10.34) that redirected the virus. It encrypted users' computer files and displayed a message demanding anywhere from $300 to $600 to release them; failure to pay would leave the data mangled and likely beyond fix.

Hackers often demand the victim to pay ransom money to access their files or remove harmful programs.

Don't click on links in emails unless you are expecting the email to contain a link.

French automaker Renault and its partner, Nissan, say their plants were hit by the attack, NBC reports. The WannaCry virus has already become the worst case of ransomware in history.

What is the WannaCry virus? Computers running Microsoft Windows were infected with "WanaCrypt0r 2.0 or WannaCry" ransomware. Once it infects one computer within a network, it can spread to all the computers in that network "within seconds", said Israel Levy, the CEO of the cybersecurity firm Bufferzone.

It leaves the user with only two files: Instructions on what to do next and the Wanna Decryptor program itself. Once infected, all of the files on the computer are encrypted by the malware, which then displays a ransom demand of between U.S. $300 and $600 in bitcoin that needs to be paid before the files can be decrypted.

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