Cyber attack hits 200000 in at least 150 countries: Europol

Monday, 22 May, 2017

Russian Railways: State media said a virus attacked the IT system of Russian Railways, but it did not affect operations due to a prompt response.

European officials said at least 100-thousand organizations in 150 countries were affected by global ransomware attack.

Another major cyber-attack is imminent after Friday's global hit that infected more than 125,000 computer systems and could come on Monday, a security researcher warned on Sunday.

Experts and governments alike warn against ceding to the demands and Wainwright said few victims so far have been paying up.

Some cyber security experts and privacy advocates said the massive attack reflected a flawed approach by the USA to dedicate more cyber resources to offence rather than defence, a practice they argued makes the internet less secure.

"The numbers are going up".

"I'm anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning".

There are also fears that copycat variants of the malicious software have begun to spread.

Victims have paid about US$30,000 in ransom so far, with the total expected to rise substantially next week, Tom Robinson, chief operating officer and co-founder of Elliptic Enterprises, a ransomware consultant that works with banks and companies, told Bloomberg. "We can surely expect more", Mr Suiche said.

The cyber-extortion attack known as WannaCry spread quickly around the world due to some unusual factors coming together.

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The 22-year-old told the BBC it was very important for people to patch their systems as soon as possible.

"We're not talking about a government organization or a hospital or anything like that. The National Cyber Security Centre is working with all organizations here in the United Kingdom that have been affected". "They're processing a lot of sensitive data", he said. "They get well resourced for their information technology".

The hackers are believed to have used "cyber weapons" stolen from the US' National Security Agency to lock up computers and hold users' files for ransom.

Lieutenant Colonel Ali Niknafas, a commander of the Cyber Police -known as FATA in Iran- called on all users to update their computer and network systems to avoid being affected by the ransomware, called "WannaCry" or "WannaCrypt".

A computer screen shows an error message after Britain's National Health Service was hacked.

He said it was too early to say who is behind the onslaught and what their motivation was.

- How many countries were affected?

Researchers with security software maker Avast said they had observed 57,000 infections in 99 countries, with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan the top targets. "You're only safe if you patch ASAP", he tweeted.

The spread of the virus slowed over the weekend but the respite might only be brief, experts have said.