Manhunt for hackers behind global cyberattack

The Latest: Expert: Size of cyberattack 'unprecedented'

The Latest: Expert: Size of cyberattack 'unprecedented'

"There's always more we can all do to make sure we're secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack".

Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the United Kingdom hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out.

Michael Gazeley, managing director of cybersecurity firm Network Box, told CNN that the danger is far from over and that a company's security patch on Saturday might not still work by Monday. He expects the ransomware's authors, or others seeking similar levels of destruction, to release a new variant with modified code.

"Staff working on computers are both the weakest link when it comes to cyber attacks and the last line of defence".

Foreign minister Julie Bishop on Sunday also confirmed there was one business under investigation of a possible cyber attack.

Cyber extortionists tricked victims into opening malicious malware attachments to spam emails. It locks down all the files on an infected computer.

WannaCrypt/WannaCry is a type of ransomware that attempts to render a computer unusable by encrypting the files on the system. Microsoft had already floated the concept of a "Digital Geneva Convention" that required governments to report security holes, but the idea has gained a new sense of urgency in light of the recent ransomware chaos.

Jason Tanz, the site director at Wired, echoed Larson's sentiments, telling ABC News, "individuals are particularly easy to prey on because a lot of them are not being extremely up-to-date with their software".

Since security professionals typically focus on building walls to block hackers from entering, security tends to be less rigorous inside the network.

Microsoft is now confirming that the WannaCrypt exploits used in the attack on Friday were drawn from the trove of exploits stolen from the NSA. That move, which cost just $10.69, redirected the attacks to the server of Kryptos Logic, the security company where he works. The Shadow Brokers group, which is suspected of having ties to Russian Federation, posted Windows hacking tools last month.

In this case, he said, the NSA apparently handed the WannaCry makers a blueprint - pre-written code for exploiting the flaw, allowing the attackers to essentially cut and paste that code into their own malware.

Capitalising on spying tools believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency, the cyber assault launched on Friday has infected tens of thousands of computers in 104 countries, with Britain's health system suffering the worst known disruptions. But they could still linger as low-grade infections that flare up from time to time.

But security experts say the threat is far from over.

The deputy chief executive at Internet New Zealand, Andrew Cushen, said software behind a ransomware wasn't hard to build and protecting against it required a simple update.

The attack held hospitals and other entities hostage by freezing computers, encrypting their data and demanding money through online bitcoin payment - $300 at first, rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.

The damage might have been temporarily contained.

On Saturday, a cyber security researcher told AFP he had accidentally discovered a "kill switch" that could prevent the spread of the ransomware.

Experts were scrambling to determine who was behind the attack, which exploited a security flaw in older versions of Microsoft's Windows operating software.

To Smith, this is a "wake-up call". "You're only safe if you patch ASAP", wrote the researcher on Twitter.

"Whenever there is a new patch, there is a risk in applying the patch and a risk in not applying the patch", Grobman said.

Commenting on Friday's attack, Sen.

However, security researchers say firms that fail to keep their software up-to-date are also responsible for the ransomware outbreak.

The malware infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files on the computer. So even people with older computers should go update them. "Because they could have done something ages ago to get this problem fixed, and they didn't do it".

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