Cyber attack is biggest of its kind ever launched, say security chiefs

The attack has hit more than 200,000 victims across the world since Friday and is seen as an "escalating threat", said Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, Europe's policing agency.

The cross-border police agency Europol said the situation was "stable", easing fears that attacks that struck computers in British hospital wards, European auto factories and Russian banks would spread further at the start of the working week.

The ransomware, also known as "WanaCryt0r", "WeCry", "WanaCrypt" or "WeCrypt0r", used a vulnerability in a Windows Server component to spread within corporate networks. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre said new cases of so-called ransomware are possible "at a significant scale".

"We think Asia-Pacific was impacted probably not as heavily as the European regions, but I don't think they dodged a bullet", said Tim Wellsmore, Asia-Pacific director for threat intelligence at FireEye, a California-based network security company. "Many of those will be businesses including large corporations".

Further NCSC guidance for enterprises can be found here, while guidelines for home users and SMEs is available here. The WannaCry program encrypts al the files and demands payment in bitcoin in order to regain access.

In Indonesia, two hospitals were affected by the attack.

Computer systems were shut down across the area on Friday after the NHS fell victim to a "ransomware" attack.

The VNCERT, under the Ministry of Information and Communications, has issued warnings as well as offered protection measures to all users to guard against the ransomware and its variations, which target Microsoft Windows - an operating system that is widely used in Việt Nam, especially the outdated Windows XP.

According to security firm Recorded Future, WannaCry first appeared on 31 March but the version now appearing in attacks has been modified, such as the inclusion of "worm-like" capabilities which allow the malware to spread through any networked systems which have not been patched via NetBIOS.

However, the ransomware can still spread through normal means and if the operators choose to remove a domain check component, the sinkhole will no longer be effective. Europol said Monday that "very few" people have paid the ransom, and security company Bitdefender said the attack has raised just over $51,000.

Japanese companies said Monday they were working to overcome the problems caused by cyberattack.

The British government said 48 of 248 health service trusts, the bodies that run the hospitals in England, had been impacted by Friday's attack. Two big telecoms companies, Telefónica of Spain and Megafon of Russian Federation, were also hit, as was Japanese carmaker Nissan in the United Kingdom.

The non-profit U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit research institute estimated that total losses would range in the hundreds of millions of dollars, but not exceed $1-billion.

"Otherwise they're literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past".

Nissan: The carmaker said in a statement that "some Nissan entities were recently targeted" but "there has been no major impact on our business".

He said tech companies, customers and the government need to "work together" to protect against attacks.

He said the same thing could be done to crucial infrastructure, like nuclear power plants, dams or railway systems.

Thousands of computer systems could be at risk from Friday's global cyber attack as workers return to work after the weekend, the head of Europol warned, announcing an worldwide manhunt is underway to track down the people responsible.

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