Companies prepare for more ransomware attacks on Monday

Morecambe Bay hospitals hit by NHS cyber attack

Morecambe Bay hospitals hit by NHS cyber attack

But computers and networks that didn't update their systems remained at risk.

A major cyber-attack that affected several companies and organizations in dozens of countries around the world late last week could cause more disruptions, experts warned.

The security flaw that hackers used to launch the attacks Friday was made public after information was stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency, which routinely searches for flaws in software and builds tools to exploit them.

Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organizations deemed not worth the price of upgrading or, in some cases, machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions that proved too hard to patch without possibly disrupting crucial operations, security experts said.

At least one Australian business has been affected by the global WannaCry ransomware attack which affected more than 75,000 computers in nearly 100 countries, the nation's Cyber Security Minister confirmed on Monday.

In the United Kingdom more than 50 hospitals, doctor surgeries and pharmacies were targeted, Germany's rail network Deutsche Bahn was attacked, and Russia's Interior Ministry was infected with the malware.

That said, a hacker could remove the domain and try the ransomware attack again, reports CNN.

Medical staff reported seeing computers go down "one by one" as the Wanna Decryptor ransomware, also known as WannaCry, took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data.

"There will be lessons to learn from what appears to be the biggest criminal cyber-attack in history", Rudd said in response to a letter from opposition Labour Party spokesperson Jonathan Ashworth.

So far, the culprits are unknown, as is the motivation.

MalwareTech has predicted "another one coming... quite likely on Monday", the BBC reported on Sunday.

How can people protect their computers?

Microsoft said it had released a Windows security update in March to tackle the problem involved in the latest attack, but many users were yet to run it.

"It is possible that we will not be able to contact all patients that we need to speak to, so we apologise if we are unable to proceed with your treatment once you arrive at hospital".

"We are now seeing more than 75,000 99 countries", Jakub Kroustek of the security firm Avast said in a blog post around 2000 GMT.

How much ransom was asked?

The perpetrators have demanded payment within three days or the price will double, and they threaten to delete the files altogether if payment is not received within seven days.

Cyber security experts have long warned that using Windows XP makes the NHS vulnerable to malware attacks and said it is "highly likely" that machines running the software were infected in Friday's ransomware attack.

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