In Yorkshire, York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust both confirmed they were being affected by the malware yesterday. "Unlike most other attacks, this malware is spreading primarily by direct infection from machine to machine on local networks, rather than purely by email", said Lance Cottrell, chief scientist at the USA technology group Ntrepid.
Union members at French carmaker Renault say the global cyberattack has forced it to halt production at sites in France in an effort to stop the malware from spreading. G7 finance ministers meeting in Italy discussed the attacks and were expected to commit to stepping up worldwide cooperation against a growing threat to their economies.
There are reports of infections in 99 countries, including Russian Federation and China.
Britain's National Crime Agency said it was investigating the attack.
The head of Slovenia's cyber emergency team, Gorazd Bozic, says seven individuals have also been targeted but no state institutions.
British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Saturday that 45 public health organizations were hit, but she stressed that no patient data had been stolen.
In January, the Barts Health NHS Trust - which runs major London hospitals - suffered an IT attack caused by a computer virus rather than ransomware. China's official Xinhua news agency said some secondary schools and universities had been affected, without specifying how many or identifying them.
In a statement Saturday, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, known as EC3, said the attack "is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex global investigation to identify the culprits".
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At two London hospitals, a British medical student found widespread computer issues, he told CNN.
"It is going to spread far and wide within the internal systems of organizations - this is turning into the biggest cybersecurity incident I've ever seen", UK-based security architect Kevin Beaumont said. When he tried to access patient files on a computer, he couldn't find them - even though he knew they were there. He told CNN it appeared as if they had been deleted.
"There's never going to be any shortage of unpatched systems or legacy systems that can not be patched", said Jim Walters, a senior research scientist at Cylance, which develops anti-virus software. In the case of ransomware, the malware attempts to extort the user for money.
Staff also asked that patients not come in unless they were experiencing an emergency. "First, there is no guarantee the criminals will release your data", Woodward said. Infections of the worm appeared to have fallen off significantly after a security researcher bought a domain that the malware was connecting to, by chance undermining the malware's effectiveness.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said government computer systems were not affected. "A few machines will be infected, then it'll try to contact more".
A patch for the vulnerability was released by Microsoft in March, which would have automatically protected those computers with Windows Update enabled.
He added, "It is a disgusting lesson about why using supported software, and keeping that software updated, is so important".
"Our society increasingly relies on interconnected systems to deliver key services such as health", he said.
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