Log in, look out: Cyber chaos spreads with workweek's start

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"But let me just assure you, we are spending money on strengthening the cyber defence of our hospital system".

Some victims were ignoring official advice and paying the $300 ransom demanded by the cyber criminals to unlock their computers, which was due to double to $600 on Monday for computers hit by Friday's first wave.

15 de mayo de 2017, 12:02Beijing, May 15 (Prensa Latina) China " s Cyberspace Administration on Monday urged people to install and update their computer security programs to prevent being damaged by the world cyber-attack with the virus WannaCry.

Companies and governments spent the weekend upgrading software to limit the spread of the virus.

Security experts have warned that another attack is imminent, most likely on Monday, and could be unstoppable.

The HSE says this morning brings the biggest risk of the virus spreading across its computer network. While the virus appears to be slowing, the fear now revolves around reports that new variations have started to appear. "Previous concerns of a wide-scale infection of domestic institutions did not eventuate". Microsoft issued a security update in March that stops WannaCry and other malware in Windows 7.

"This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem", Smith wrote.

How can you tell if a computer has been infected? Some have also been machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions, hard to patch without disrupting operations. "It has been a very strong response", she said.

But, of course, what actually triggered this particular threat was the U.S. National Security Agency deciding to invest resources in uncovering this kind of vulnerability, keeping it secret so it could use it in its own surveillance activities, and then somehow letting hackers get hold of it and release the details to the world.

This, he said, was allowing the "infection of one computer to quickly spread across the networks". "It was clear (that) warnings were given to hospital trusts".

Security experts said the NSA had engaged in responsible disclosure by informing Microsoft of the flaw at some point after learning it had been stolen and a month before the tools leaked online.

"NSA should be embarrassed - they've had a lot of damaging leaks", said James Lewis, a former USA official who is now a cyber expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Affected bodies included a social security department in the city of Changsha, the exit-entry bureau in Dalian, a housing fund in Zhuhai and an industry watchdog in Xuzhou.

Elsewhere in Asia, the impact seems to have been more limited.

Other high-profile victims include hospitals in Britain, the Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, French carmaker Renault, US package delivery company FedEx, Russia's interior ministry and the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn.

The IT systems at 10 GP practices across Tayside, which operate independently of NHS Tayside's systems, were affected by the attack.

So far only a few victims of the attack appeared to have paid, based on publicly available bitcoin accounts on the web, where victims have been instructed to pay.

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