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

Microsoft warned governments on Sunday, May 14 (May 15, Manila time) against storing computer vulnerabilities like the leaked one at the heart of the cyberattack that has crippled computers in more than 150 countries.

The government found no impact among agencies, though companies like Hitachi and Nissan Motor Co. reported problems that had not seriously affected their business operations.

Infected computers are frozen and display a big message in red informing users, "Oops, your files have been encrypted!" and demanding about $300 in online bitcoin payment. Europol said Monday that "very few" people have paid the ransom.

"I think $20,000 to $30,000 worth", said Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol. ".@NSAGov's choices risked permitting low-skill criminals launch government-scale attacks, and then it happened", Snowden tweeted on Saturday.

The blame game has already started.

Microsoft warned governments Sunday against storing computer vulnerabilities like the leaked one at the heart of the cyberattack that has crippled computers in more than 150 countries, partly laying blame with the United States government for the weekend assault.

The software giant compared the severity of the attack with "the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".

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

Experts, meanwhile, warned the full brunt of the infection might not be felt until Monday morning when employees arrive at work. That was "unheard of six months ago", Levy said.

CERT-In has listed out dos and don'ts and webcast on how to protect networks from ransomware attack. It is true that those hackers are mostly after money and trust is crucial here. "We have separated those PCs from the system and we are trying to fix it", the officer said.

A number of variants were spotted by different cyber security researchers.

"Obviously, they want those tools in order to spy on people of interest, on other countries, to conduct surveillance", Cluley said.

The nonprofit Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were affected.

The company says that it's now taking a "highly unusual" step by releasing public patches for Windows versions that are in custom support only. The VEP was established to determine whether the government should withhold or disclose information about computer software security vulnerabilities.

On social media, students complained about not being able to access their work, and people in various cities said they hadn't been able to take their driving tests over the weekend because some local traffic police systems were down.

Smith also called cyberattack protection a "shared responsibility" between companies and customers. He said the situation was under control.

Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan have been the countries most affected by the attack.

How can a WannaCry victim regain access to data?

  • Eleanor Harrison