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Chinese media pinned some of the blame for the massive global cyberattack that affected more than 300,000 computers over the weekend on the United States.

Hunt noted that one way out of the issue is to rebuild the machines that are infected. “It is deeply disturbing the National Security Agency likely wrote the original malware”.

“T$3 his attack demonstrates the degree to which cybersecurity has become a shared responsibility between tech companies and customers”, Smith said in his blog post.

Several European news outlets have reported that while the attacks have been widespread since they started Friday, perpetrators have only earned about $30,000 to $40,000 so far.

Microsoft released Security Update KB401258 on Friday to address the issue in older Windows OS and Windows Server editions, including Windows 8, Vista, XP and Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

The Pune-based company said 60 per cent of the attempts by the malicious WannaCry ransomware were targeted at enterprises, while 40 per cent were on individual customers.

Companies and institutions are often slow to update their computers because it can screw up internal software that is built to work with a certain version of Windows.

The most public damage in South Korea was to cinema chain CJ CGV Co.

Countries so far hit by the attack include the UK, US, Spain, Ukraine, France, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Sweden and Norway.

French automaker Renault and its partner, Nissan, say their plants were hit by the attack, NBC reports.

Most automated teller machines (ATMs) were running fine, there could be some which may not have updated Microsoft’s Windows operating system, sources said. “Even cloud backups are not recommended when it comes to these ransomware“, Mukesh Choudhary, a Cyber Security Expert from Hicube Infosec Pvt Ltd said.

“If there is a silver lining to it, you’re not out a million dollars”, he said. “If you want to decrypt them, you have to pay”.

Ryan Kalember, senior vice president at Proofpoint Inc. which helped stop its spread, said the version without a kill switch could spread.

The term ransomware refers to malicious software that infects or locks a computer, preventing access to files.

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

Telefónica: Spanish authorities confirmed the Spanish telecom company Telefónica was one of the targets, though the attack affected only some computers and did not compromise the security of clients’ information.

“While it would be satisfying to hold accountable those responsible for this hack – something that we are working on quite seriously – the worm is in the wild, so to speak at this point, and patching is the most important message as a result”, said Bossert.

“It was essentially an indiscriminate attack across the world”, Europol director Rob Wainwright said.

The U.K.’s National Security Cybre Centre has offered this three-step protection plan for home users and small businesses.

Chris Camacho, chief strategy officer at the cybersecurity firm Flashpoint, told ABC News that health care companies were particularly ripe for ransomware attacks like this one because patient records are so critical to care.

Humans aren’t the only ones who can carry out ransom demands.

While many residents were unaware of the attacks, there were a few who rushed to withdraw money after rumours about ATM shutdown circulated.

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