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Ransomware WannaCry attack: Banks cautious, shut down ATMs operating on old software

19 May 2017

Interpol thinks that more than 200,000 people in more than 150 countries were affected - and things could get worse.

Auto maker Nissan, which saw its systems being impacted globally, said the Renault-Nissan alliance plant in Chennai came under attack but its India team has responded and there is no major impact on business.

Ransomware attacks are some of the most immediately damaging forms of cyber-attacks that affect home users, enterprises and governments equally.

A spokesperson for police agency Europol said the situation in Europe "seems stable". "We've seen that the slowdown of the infection rate over Friday night, after a temporary fix around it, has now been overcome by a second variation the criminals have released".

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It is a malicious piece of software, and it blocks access to computers until you pay the money.

Choi is one of a number of researchers around the world who have suggested a possible link between the "ransomware" known as WannaCry and hackers linked to North Korea.

According to Kaspersky Lab, an anti-virus and cyber-security company, the ransomware exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows.

One theory suggested that 90 percent of NHS trusts across the United Kingdom were using Microsoft's 16-year-old OS Windows XP, which could leave them susceptible to attacks. The company mainly ended support for the aging operating system in 2014. President Donald Trump's homeland security adviser has a message to those blaming USA intelligence agencies for the cyberattack encircling the globe: Don't point a finger at the National Security Agency. He further added that "repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage".

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The hack used a technique purportedly stolen from the US National Security Agency to target Microsoft's market-leading Windows operating system.

The hackers are called Shadow brokers.

As a new cyber attack continues to sweep across the globe, the company is once again at the center of the debate over who is to blame for a vicious strain of malware demanding ransom from victims in exchange for the unlocking of their digital files. Some of those are people that you wouldn't necessarily expect us, or large organisations, to work with.

Late last week and early this one, a massive ransomware attack labeled WannaCry had disabled thousands of computers in almost every country. With the help of @Malware Technologies, most of the attack on Friday was contained.

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"There is no precedent for a ransomware attack of this kind of scale", Anthony said.