The "Wannacry" ransomware has spread unchecked through unprotected systems, including many NHS networks in the United Kingdom running the outdated Windows XP operating system, which has been unsupported since 2014.
In Japan, 2,000 computers were reportedly infected.
The Chinese government says almost 30,000 of its institutions have been affected, including universities, mail delivery services, hospitals and shopping malls.
While companies in the Americas were not yet open for business, aftershocks from the "Wannacry" virus elsewhere have so far been mild. "People may have updated their security systems over the last hours", Europol said. His law firm sued LinkedIn after a 2012 data breach, alleging individuals paid for premium accounts because the company falsely stated it had top-quality cyber security measures. Fedex said it had experienced "interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware". It also hit a "limited number" of USA companies over the weekend, a senior DHS official confirmed to Fox News.
"Wannacry" locks users out of their computers and demands hundreds of dollars from victims hoping to regain control of their documents and data.
Windows users should update their software to avoid the ransomware, security experts say.
"WannaCry", as the ransomware is known, uses a Windows vulnerability originally identified by the NSA, according to security experts.
The blame game has already started.
"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake up call".
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Smith notes in his blog piece that there's a degree of frustration when something like WannaCry runs wild when a fix for the issue has been around for a couple of months, and the problem with governments stockpiling vulnerabilities that are, inevitably, leaked and made available to threat actors.
"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", the company said Sunday.
At least one strain of the ransomware has proven especially vicious. Once it infects one computer within a network, it can spread to all the computers in that network "within seconds", said Israel Levy, the CEO of the cybersecurity firm Bufferzone.
"That's what makes this more troubling than ransomware was a week ago", Thakur said. Following the WannaCry attack, one of the biggest in history, Microsoft itself has joined the ranks of the critics. "If someone kidnaps your child, you may pay your ransom but there is no guarantee your child will return".
"Our key direction to you is to remember that we are in this with our customers - we are trusted advisers, counselors, and suppliers to them", he wrote. The company rates the update as "critical" for supported Windows releases.
The Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team under the Ministry of Information and Communications has issued warnings and offered protection measures to ministries, agencies and organisations to guard against the ransomware and its variations.
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. He also pointed his finger at intelligence services, since the latest vulnerability appeared to have been leaked from the National Security Agency. "We are taking necessary precautions to protect our systems from such threats", a company official said in a statement.
So far, Apple Mac computers are not being targeted by this cruel ransomware attack.
"This was not a tool developed by the NSA to hold ransom data", homeland security adviser Bossert said at Monday's White House briefing.
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