Cyber attack: 100000 organisations hit in 150 countries

Joanna Estrada
May 14, 2017

Europol said its cyber crime specialists would support affected countries as a "complex global investigation" to identify the culprits begins.

First, there was a highly unsafe security hole in Microsoft Windows, which became known after hackers leaked tools that were apparently created by the U.S. National Security Agency to exploit the hole.

United Kingdom security researcher "MalwareTech", who helped to limit the ransomware attack, predicted "another one coming... quite likely on Monday".

Mr Fallon told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "We never comment on the different systems, obviously for reasons of security, that our submarines use but our vanguard submarines I can absolutely assure you, are safe and operate in isolation when they are out on patrol, and I have complete confidence in our nuclear deterrent".

MalwareTech was hailed as an "accidental hero" after he helped prevent the virus from spreading further when he and another cyber security researcher stumbled upon a "kill switch" in the malware code. The company reported that the attack was carried out with the use of ransomware dubbed WannaCry.

Forty-five NHS division were affected by the attack.

Britain's nuclear deterrent is protected from cyber attacks which wreaked havoc across the NHS, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said.

There have been calls for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Friday's major incident, with the government and NHS chiefs facing questions over their preparedness and the robustness of vital systems.

Rick Holland, vice president, Strategy at cyber security leader Digital Shadows, was referring to the attack on organisations including FedEx and Telefónica, as well as the UK's National Health Service (NHS), where operations were cancelled, X-rays, test results and patient records became unavailable and phones did not work. "The fact is the NHS has fallen victim to this", she said. "There's always more we can all do to make sure we're secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack".

The defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon has defended how much the government has spent on protecting the NHS from cyber attacks after ransomware brought many services at several major hospitals across the country to a halt over the weekend.

A security update was released by Microsoft in March to protect against the virus, but it appears many NHS organisations had not applied it or were using an older version of the operating system no longer supported - namely Windows XP.

Nissan UK confirmed it was affected, but said there had been "no major impact".

Europol says ransomware attack has hit more than 100,000 organizations in 150 countries. "We are continuing to monitor the situation".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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