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Asian Countries Suffering from WannaCry Virus Cyber Attack

18 May 2017

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack, which spread to more than 100 countries, is only the beginning in a series of similar attacks, according to Cătălin Coșoi, head of the Bitdefender's investigation team coordinating the relations of the company with institutions such as NATO, Europol, Interpol, or national response centers to cyber-security incidents, Agerpres reported.

British health minister Jeremy Hunt said on Monday it was "encouraging" that a predicted second spike of attacks had not occurred, but the ransomware was a warning to public and private organizations. Run Windows Update and get those patches.

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said on Sunday: "We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the Central Intelligence Agency show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world".

He warned governments against stockpiling such vulnerabilities and said instead they should report them to manufacturers - not sell, store or exploit them, lest they fall into the wrong hands.

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call".

In China, "hundreds of thousands" of computers were affected, including petrol stations, cash machines and universities, according to Qihoo 360, one of China's largest providers of antivirus software.

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"We are very busy at the moment", Georges said.

The virus infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries, locking the contents of their drives unless a ransom of $300 or $600 was paid in Bitcoin.

"It seems inconceivable that organisations such as the NHS are prepared to jeopardise highly confidential patient data or critical infrastructure through inadequate cyber security that relies heavily on out-dated anti-virus technologies, when effective alternatives like file-regeneration are available".

"Most people are not paying this, so there are not a lot of money being made with this by criminal organisations so far", he said. By late morning, some people were still filling out forms manually, but the hospital said 70 percent of systems were back online.

On that day, an updated version of WannaCry ransomware infected the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), the telecommunications provider Telefonica, and other high-profile within a matter of hours.

Though the ransomware continued to spread at a more subdued pace on Monday, many companies and government agencies were still struggling to recover from the first attack.

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Some 29,372 institutions have been affected by the virus so far.

A cyber coordination centre will start operating from next month to take precautions against such attacks, he said.

Hitachi: The Japanese electronics firm said Monday that its computer systems have been experiencing problems since the weekend, including not being able to send and receive emails or open attached files.

Microsoft therefore took the highly unusual step to release an update for Windows XP users and urge them to update their software (if possible) as soon as possible.

Updating your computer if you're an individual is a piece of cake, but for a network the size of Britain's National Health Service?

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Asian Countries Suffering from WannaCry Virus Cyber Attack