WannaCry ransomware attacks 10 schools in Taiwan

Microsoft President Brad Smith speaks at the annual Microsoft shareholders meeting on Nov. 30 2016 in Bellevue Wash

The attack started on Friday (May 12) and has affected computers in more than 150 countries, including severe disruptions at Britain's National Health Service.

There are a number of tools publicly available to limit the spread and the impact of further cyber security attacks.

Ransomware is a type of wicked and malicious software that takes over the system of a computer. They demanded $300 in virtual currency Bitcoin for accessing user files.

But as intelligence officials note, much of what they know and keep secret is used for national security purposes such as invading terrorist computer networks to gain information.

In what it said was a "highly unusual" step, Microsoft also agreed to provide the patch for older versions of Windows, including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

The IT ministry has also reached out to agencies such as RBI, NPCI and UIDAI, to warn them about the risks associated with WannaCry, and help secure their systems, to make sure that digital payments in India are not affected.

The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about United States dollars 300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device. Thanks to a 22-year-old security researcher, who goes by the name @Malware technologies in Twitter.

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"The massive malware attack that hit multiple countries has caused chaos and has shut down vital institutions such as hospitals", U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) said Friday in a statement.

Mr Hutchins, from Devon, has been credited with stopping the WannaCry attack from spreading across the globe by accidentally triggering a "kill switch".

But cyber security experts still think this victory is short lived. Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows systems. They say it will continue to spread in a modified form.

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. The reason appears to be related to the fact that the original exploit was based on machines that came out before Windows 10.

"Our banks may be affected in a couple of hours". It said there have been over 700 distress calls by customers in the last few days, following the discovery of the attacks which has impacted 150 countries globally. Sivarama Krishnan, the executive director at PWC, is working with his team to protect 2000 clients, identify the threats and block those using firewalls. However, the full extent of the attack won't be known until employees head back to work.

Smith further wrote in the blog post that governments have to take a new approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world.

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