World braces for more cyberattacks as work week begins

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China and Japan have both fallen victim to the global "ransomware" cyber attack that has created chaos in 150 countries.

The cyber attacks started Friday and spread rapidly around the globe using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that is no longer given mainstream tech support by the USA giant.

The virus exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software first identified by the US National Security Agency, experts have said. The national railway system said although it was attacked, rail operations were unaffected. Two security firms " Kaspersky Lab and Avast " said they had identified the malicious software behind the attack in over 70 countries, although both said the attack had hit Russian Federation the hardest.

The government is not legally bound to notify at-risk companies.

An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.

New variants of the rapidly replicating worm were discovered Sunday and one did not include the so-called kill switch that allowed researchers to interrupt its spread Friday by diverting it to a dead end on the internet. However, he said it's only a matter of time before such a version exists.

"We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself", Kalember said.

The attack blocks computers and puts up images on victims' screens demanding payment of $300 (275 euros) in the virtual currency Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!" "On Monday morning you could see more activity when people come into work", he said.

'It's an global attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected, ' British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

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Although a temporary fix earlier slowed the infection rate, the attackers had now released a new version of the ransomware, Mr Wainwright said.

On Friday a number of agencies and businesses around the globe, including the U.K.'s National Health Service, were disrupted by the malware, which is estimated to have hit over 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, Rob Wainwright, executive director of Europol, the European law enforcement agency, told ITV.

Chinese media reported Sunday that students at several universities were hit, blocking access to their thesis papers and dissertation presentations.

As always, but especially now, users should be careful about such emails from unknown sources asking you to download an attachment or click on a link.

US President Donald Trump has ordered his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, to hold an emergency meeting to assess the threat, a senior administration official told Reuters.

"Right now, just about every IT department has been working all weekend rolling this out", Dan Wire, spokesman at Fireeye Security, said.

You can download the patch from Microsoft's blog post. Microsoft issued a patch to fix the flaw for its supported systems in March.

Short of paying, options for those already infected are usually limited to recovering data files from a backup, if available, or living without them. The other is to disable a type of software that connects computers to printers and faxes, which the virus exploits, O'Leary added. Install Microsoft's patch. 3. But Villasenor said there is "no flawless solution" to the problem. "But there are so many things to patch". "It won't be too late as long as they're not infected".

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