Companies needed to make sure they have updated their systems and “patched where they should” before staff arrived for work on Monday morning, the European Union law enforcement agency head said.
“A protection system. needs to be worked out”, he said.
He said Russian Federation and India were hit particularly hard, largely because Microsoft’s Windows XP – one of the operating systems most at risk – was still widely used there.
“This kind of attack is indiscriminate in its nature, it will attack any machine that is not patched for the particular vulnerability”, said Owen Connelly, VP Services at the IOActive cybersecurity firm.
Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith answers questions at a shareholders meeting in 2014.
Experts said Sunday it appeared that the ransomware had made just over $32,000, although they expected that number to pop when people went back into the office Monday.
Wainwright said Europol was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. to track down those responsible, saying that more than one person was likely behind it.
Microsoft has now sent out patches for WindowsXP in an attempt to limit the damage, while the NHS took steps over the weekend to send out the recent security updates for trusts who had not put it in place.
The following day dozens of trusts in England and Scotland were forced to cancel procedures after staff reported seeing computers go down “one by one”. “The current variant will make its way into antivirus software”.
French carmaker Renault said its Douai plant, one of its biggest sites in France employing 5,500 people, would be shut on Monday as systems were upgraded.
Europol said more than 200,000 computers around the world had been affected over the weekend in what it said was “an unprecedented attack”.
“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”, Smith wrote in a blog post.
After taking computers over, the virus displayed messages demanding a payment of $300 (£230) in virtual currency Bitcoin to unlock files and return them to the user. The amount would double after three days.
The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about United States dollars 300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device.
But experts and government alike warn against ceding to the hackers’ demands.
A the Royal London, which has one of the busiest A&E wards in the country, medical equipment is said to have failed as the virus spread from computer terminals to apparatus. The code, known as “Eternal Blue”, was stolen and released on April 14 by a group called Shadow Brokers.
“It is important to understand that the way these attacks work means that compromises of machines and networks that have already occurred may not yet have been detected, and that existing infections from the malware can spread within networks”, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre said in a statement.
It has been reported that a new ransomware “WannaCry” is spreading widely, the RBI advisory to the banks said.
She said: “If you look at who’s been impacted by this virus, it’s a huge variety across different industries and across worldwide governments”.
Russian Federation said its banking system was among the victims of the attacks, along with the railway system, although it added that no problems were detected.
In Britain, the attack disrupted care at National Health Service facilities, forcing ambulances to divert and hospitals to postpone operations.