NHS 'open for business' amid 'international manhunt' for cyber attackers

But some other technology industry executives said privately that it reflected a widely held view in Silicon Valley that the United States government is too willing to jeopardize internet security in order to preserve offensive cyber capabilities.

But Theresa May rejected claims the Government ignored warnings the NHS was vulnerable to a possible cyber attack, saying warnings had been given to hospital trusts. As the work week starts, millions are going to find out if their work computers have been infected or not, The Washington Post reports.

The WannaCry ransomware appears to only attack unpatched computers running Windows 10.

They were among many victims of an indiscriminate global attack that has struck hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide by exploiting known vulnerabilities in older Microsoft (Euronext: MSF.NX - news) computer operating systems.

In China, the world's second-largest economy, energy giant PetroChina said payment systems at some of its petrol stations were hit, although it had been able to restore most of the systems. Playing with fire finally caught up with the victims. It's crucial that customers allow their computers to automatically patch themselves when patches are issued.

The Wanna Decryptor - or WannaCry - virus sent the health service into meltdown on Friday, with hospitals in parts of the country forced to cancel treatments and appointments.

The fact that news reports widely cited Windows XP-powered PCs as instrumental in the worm-like spread of WannaCrypt - including in the NHS' networks - was almost certainly a factor in Microsoft's decision. Microsoft over the weekend also released patches targeting out-of-support versions of Windows including Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8.

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Patch your computers. They should have the latest software update.

USA package delivery giant FedEx, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica and Germany's Deutsche Bahn rail network were among those hit in the attacks, which demanded money to allow users to unblock their computers.

Tom Bossert, US president Donald Trump's homeland security adviser, said people "should be thinking about this as an attack that for right now we have under control, but as an attack that represents an extremely serious threat", speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America" show. Experts are urging all organizations to update their software.

Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at Gartner, agreed that the government is "is negligent not doing a better job protecting companies", but added that it's not like "you can stop the USA government from developing cybertools" that then work as intended.

However, a hacker could change the code to remove the domain and try the ransomware attack again. "And our concern is the way in which this - for the first time we've seen something that combines the ransomware with a worm functionality", said Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright.

Microsoft warned governments against storing computer vulnerabilities such as the leaked one at the heart of the cyber attack that has crippled computers in more than 150 countries.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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