As the malware that affected the National Health Service (NHS) England hospitals continues to spread across various parts of the world, Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity company based in Moscow, has published a blog post in which it estimates that 45,000 attacks have been carried out in 74 countries, mostly in Russian Federation.
By the group's count, the malware struck at least 74 countries.
Kubo Macak, a cyber warfare expert at Exeter University, said that if the "investigation shows that the cyber attack was directed by an outside state, it would amount to a violation of the UK's sovereignty".
"These attacks underscore the fact that vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies, but by hackers and criminals around the world", said Patrick Toomey of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Microsoft issued a patch on March 14 described as critical to users of Windows to fix that vulnerability, which CrowdStrike and Splunk said should protect users from getting infected by Wanna Cry. Portugal Telecom, delivery company FedEx, a Swedish local authority and Russia's second largest mobile phone network, Megafon, also announced that they were affected.
A Telefonica spokesman said a window appeared on screens of infected computers that demanded payment with the digital currency bitcoin in order to regain access to files. "We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible".
On Friday, Microsoft said users will be protected from the ransomware if they're running the company's free antivirus software or have installed the latest patches.
"For so many organizations in the same day to be hit, this is unprecedented", he said.
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"If [the NSA] had privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they found it, not when they lost it, this may not have happened". The original hacking tool was apparently stolen from the NSA and leaked online by the Shadow Brokers, but officials do not know who that group is or whether they carried out this attack. He told CNN it appeared as if they had been deleted. "They said the system was down and that they can not transfer anyone till the computer system was back up", Brennan said.
At least 30 health service organisations in England and Scotland were infiltrated by the ransomware, while many others shut down servers as a precautionary measure, bringing added disruption. An Interior Ministry statement says 85% of Telefonica computers have been affected.
"Seeing a large telco like Telefonica get hit is going to get everybody anxious". Cyber-security firm Avast is reported as saying that it had seen 75,000 cases of the ransomware - known as WannaCry and variants of that name - around the world.
"Despite warnings, (NSA) built risky attack tools that could target Western software", Snowden said.
Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cybersecurity company F-Secure, called the attack "the biggest ransomware outbreak in history". It's important to avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in those messages, since they could unleash malware, Villasenor said.
Iberdrola and Gas Natural, along with Vodafone's unit in Spain, asked staff to turn off computers or cut off internet access in case they had been compromised, representatives from the firms said.
In Spain, the attacks did not disrupt the provision of services or networks operations of the victims, the government said in a statement.
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