Log in, look out: Cyber chaos spreads with workweek's start

Angelica Greene
May 16, 2017

In a strongly-worded blog post, the Redmond tech-giant Microsoft pinned blame on the U.S. government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities.

"Those who have Windows Update enabled are protected against attacks on this vulnerability", the company said in the post published on its website.

"It was essentially an indiscriminate attack across the world", Europol director Rob Wainwright said.

Hospitals, universities, manufacturers and government agencies in the U.K., China, Russia, Germany and Spain have all been affected.

Security experts have warned that a second wave of the virus would attack Asia on Monday.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there weren't any concerns about damage in the country.

There are several factors in play.

Who stopped the virus from spreading?

The city of Osaka said its home page suddenly went blank, although email and other problems had not been detected. "There is an urgent need to get to the bottom of how this happened and who is responsible".

At least one strain of the ransomware has proven especially vicious.

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Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organisations deemed not worth the price of upgrading or, in some cases, machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions that proved too hard to patch without possibly disrupting crucial operations, security experts said.

"This was not targeted at the NHS, it was an worldwide attack".

Security officials in Britain urged organizations to protect themselves by installing the security fixes, running antivirus software and backing up data elsewhere. Security experts say this attack should wake up every corporate board room and legislative chamber around the globe.

There were no details on which companies were targeted or the origin of the attack.

Deutsche Bahn: The German railway company told CNNMoney that due to the attack "passenger information displays in some stations were inoperative" as were "some ticket machines".

Hitachi spokeswoman Yuko Tainiuchi said emails were slow or not getting delivered, and files could not be opened. It said it believed the difficulties are linked to the global cyberattack but they haven't so far harmed its business operations. The central bank reportedly said those monitoring the cyberattacks found "no incidents compromising data resources of banking institutions".

Senior US security officials held another meeting in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NSA were working to help mitigate damage and identify the perpetrators of the massive cyber attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

She said the ministry's servers haven't been affected. He said the situation was under control. A spokesperson for FedEx confirmed to ABC News that the company is among the victims of the ransomware attacks.

Other European organizations hit by the massive cyberattack included soccer clubs in Norway and Sweden, with IF Odd, a 132-year-old Norwegian soccer club, saying its online ticketing facility was down. But there's no evidence so far that patient data has been accessed, NHS Digital said. The NHS has said hospitals have had to cancel some outpatient appointments because of the attack. And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today - nation-state action and organized criminal action.

Other reports by GizPress

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