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Cyberattack disrupts businesses, hospitals and schools in Asia

16 May 2017

Microsoft's president and top lawyer said Sunday that the ongoing cyberattacks, which experts are calling the largest in history, should be a "wake-up call" for governments - especially the U.S.

An exterior view shows the main entrance of St Bartholomew's Hospital, in London, one of the hospitals whose computer systems were affected by a cyberattack, Friday, May 12, 2017.

But he also placed fault in national governments. "The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team has issued advisory regarding prevention of this threat", CERT-In said. Routine appointments had been canceled and ambulances were being diverted to neighboring hospitals.

The ransomware outbreak raises questions about the balance between the collection of security vulnerabilities by the intelligence services for spying purposes and their duty to inform software companies so they can issue patches to protect against their exploitation by cyber criminals.

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The most public damage in South Korea was to cinema chain CJ CGV Co. Do not enable macros, cybersecurity company Symantec says. It infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files on the computer. At least 1,600 US organizations have been infected with the ransomware, including FedEx, Forbes reports.

It's widely believed that the National Security Agency is responsible for the security vulnerability that was exploited by the malware used in last week's attack, Reuters reports. Some of the victims have reportedly regained access to their files after paying, although security experts advise against complying with ransom demands. You can change the locks but what has happened cannot be undone. However, a 22-year-old United Kingdom security researcher - who goes by the online name "MalwareTech" - discovered a "kill switch" in the software's code, according to BBC.

Managers at many companies and other organizations have not taken steps to put proper cybersecurity systems in place despite talking about their importance, Gazeley said.

"We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself", Kalember said.

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The ransomware, called WannaCry, locked down all the files on an infected computer and asked the computer's administrator to pay in order to regain control of them. A number of 150 countries reportedly felt the attack and the damages done by it are now unknown.

Microsoft's top lawyer is laying some of the blame for Friday's massive cyberattack at the feet of the USA government. Brad Smith criticized USA intelligence agencies, including the CIA and National Security Agency, for "stockpiling" software code that can be used by hackers. The hackers exploited software code from the National Security Agency that leaked online. So far, not many people have paid the ransom demanded by the malware, Europol spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth told The Associated Press. "We may see the true picture next week when work resumes", the official who is a cybercrime prevention expert told our reporter on phone.

However, the ransomware warning said that the cost would double after three days, so the payments may increase. But many corporations don't automatically update their systems, because Windows updates can screw up their legacy software programs.

"These attacks are also becoming much more sophisticated".

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