Sophos has egg on its face after ransomware attack

WannaCry ransomware cyber attack is a wake-up call for US Government says Microsoft

But Russia was among the hardest hit, with the attack exposing security flaws in some of its largest institutions.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defence Ash Carter.

Microsoft also issued a statement, calling the circumstances painful.

WannaCry exploits a Windows vulnerability codenamed EternalBlue, which has been patched by Microsoft in an update deployed on March 14. Victims have to contact the criminals for a decryption key to unlock their files.

Hospitals and GP surgeries were forced to turn away patients as the ransomware seized control of computers.

Our expert systems gave us visibility and context into this new attack as it happened, allowing Windows Defender Antivirus to deliver real-time defense.

He said, "We take every single cyberattack on a Windows system seriously, and we've been working around the clock since Friday to help all our customers who have been affected by this incident".

"That theft was publicly reported earlier this year".

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A DHS official told POLITICO late Friday that the malware had not yet infected USA government agencies and critical infrastructure organisations, such as hospitals and power plants.

We may see many more reports about WannaCry infections starting today, as organizations around the world see how their networks have been impacted over the weekend. Many workers in Asia had already finished their business for the day on Friday.

Though a British security researcher "MalwareTech" managed to stop the spread of the virus, hackers have issued new versions that cybersecurity organisations are trying to counter. And it's expected to cause more problems on Monday. But, the Redmond giant had to resort to something 'highly unusual' to protect a major chunk of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003 users. Black hats might well create a worm that attacks the same Windows vulnerability more stealthily to install a backdoor on the many vulnerable systems still out there, for example.

"This is an emerging pattern in 2017", Smith wrote.

"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".

He warned of the danger of exploits developed by governments - this time the NSA in America - falling into the hands of hackers and causing widespread damage as is the case with the current attack which has crippled more than 200,000 computers around the world. An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.

He said the governments around the world should treat the WannCrypt ransomware attack as a "wake-up call" and must "take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world".

U.S. and European officials scrambled to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that caused damage across the globe over the weekend.

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