Tech

China hit by cyber attack as Europe warns of more disruptions

China hit by cyber attack as Europe warns of more disruptions

Governments and computer experts girded Monday for a possible worsening of the global cyberattack that has hit more than 150 countries, as Microsoft warned against stockpiling vulnerabilities like the one at the heart of the crisis.

"The very nature of this particular malware, this sort of ransomware attack, is very potent because unlike more routine ones this one has used a sort of worm to exploit the operating system and bolted on a ransomware so that it spread incredibly quickly in hours not weeks or days", Wallace said.

However, officials and security firms said the spread was starting to slow.

The warning was echoed by Britain's National Cyber Security Centre: "As a new working week begins it is likely, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, that further cases of ransomware may come to light, possibly at a significant scale".

"Previous concerns of a widescale infection of domestic institutions did not eventuate".

However, France, where carmaker Renault was among the world's highest-profile victims, said more attacks were likely.

1 firefighter killed, 2 seriously hurt in San Antonio fire
Firefighters formed two columns and saluted as an ambulance departed the scene just after midnight Friday morning. The other two firefighters were transported to a local hospital, but their conditions were not released.

European policing and security agencies said the fallout from a ransomware attack that has already crippled more than 200,000 computers around the world could deepen as people return for another work week.

And according to Qihoo 360, one of China's largest providers of antivirus software, "hundreds of thousands" of computers in the country were affected, including petrol stations, cash machines and universities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that his country, which has been accused of cyber meddling in several countries in recent years, had anything to do with the attack.

Officials across the globe scrambled to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that disrupted operations at auto factories, hospitals, shops and schools, while Microsoft pinned blame on the USA government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities.

Friday's extortion attack, which locked up computers and held users' files for ransom, is believed to be the biggest of its kind ever recorded.

There are no indications that a particular country or organisation has been targeted, and the threat is "spreading globally", according to Europol.


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