Cyber-attack: Europol says it was unprecedented in scale

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John Paior, founder and chairman of data-protection specialist Geek - which has previously rescued many users" systems from ransomware attacks - said the Australian impact of the WannaCry ransomware had been minimised after the "kill switch' was identified by a developer that registered the domain name of a command-and-control server identified in the WannaCry code.

"While that has stopped this iteration of WannaCry from accelerating its attack, it will be back", he said in a statement.

Europe's police agency says the attack has hit at least 100,000 organizations in 150 countries. Banks, the state-owned railways and a mobile phone network were hit. "While this protected newer Windows systems and computers that had enabled Windows Update to apply this latest update, many computers remained unpatched globally".

It appears the people behind that attack, who have not yet been identified, earned about $26,000, reports Krebs on Security. Here at the store we recommend Avast for anti-virus and Malwarebites for malware.

Britain's National Health Service that covers free treatment for its citizens has been badly hit with 16 of its organisation have been affected by the ransomware cyber attacks nullifying their services and forcing many patients return without consultation.

The attack that began Friday is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, with victims including Britain's hospital network and Germany's national railway.

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Ransomware encrypted data on at least 75,000 computers in 99 countries on Friday.

"It has been reported that a new ransomware named as Wannacry is spreading widely". The virus took control of users' files and demanded $300 (£230) payments to restore access. It crippled the British health care system for a day, infecting almost 20 percent of its health care groups, forcing medical treatments to be canceled or postponed for thousands of people.

The governments of the world should treat the cyber attack as a "wake-up call", the president of Microsoft has said.

Had it not been for a young cybersecurity researcher's accidental discovery of a so-called "kill switch", the malicious software likely would have spread much farther and faster that it did Friday.

It says the latest virus exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows identified by, and stolen from, United States intelligence. "A month prior, on March 14, Microsoft had released a security update to patch this vulnerability and protect our customers", they continued.

Security experts tempered the alarm bells by saying that widespread attacks are tough to pull off.

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