But computers and networks that hadn’t updated their systems were still at risk.
“If you want to look for an upside, it would be this would be a wakeup call”, to improve computer security, he said.
The ransomware exploited a vulnerability that has been patched in updates of recent versions of Windows since March, but Microsoft didn’t make freely available the patch for Windows XP and other older systems.
When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like “the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen”, Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.
Seven trusts, including St Barts in London and the York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, have experienced serious problems and require “extra support”.
Symantec said the majority of organisations affected were in Europe.
There are several factors in play.
Researchers say this type of ransomware will continue.
“We will get a decryption tool eventually, but for the moment, it’s still a live threat and we’re still in disaster recovery mode”, Europol director Rob Wainwright told CNN on Sunday.
The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center, a non-profit group providing support in computer attacks, said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were reported affected. Once it gets into your computer, it looks for the other computers on the network to spread itself as widely as possible.
Although there are fears that a new strain of the WannaCry virus could be used to deliver another coordinated attack, the bigger threat is likely to come from machines already infected from Friday’s hack.
On May 13, CERT-IN had issued an advisory for both reactive and preventive actions to deal with the ransomware.
A United Kingdom -based security researcher who goes by the name MalwareTech put a stop to the spread of WannaCry on Friday by registering a domain name he discovered in the ransomware’s code.
(AP Photo/Paul White). A security guard stands outside the Telefonica headquarters in Madrid, Spain, Friday, May 12, 2017.
The attack has hit more than 75,000 computers in 99 countries. Cybersecurity experts have said the majority of the attacks targeted Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan. Although there was widespread inconvenience, there have been no reports of any deaths caused by the ransomware outbreak. State media reported that digital payment systems at some gas stations were offline, forcing customers to pay cash. The ransomware locks down the computers and asks ransom in bitcoins to release the lock.
Government agencies said they were unaffected.
“Very few banks if any have been affected because they’ve learned from painful experience of being the number one target for cybercrime”, he said.
The virus attacks the system after a person, whose computer has not been protected, opens up an unsuspecting mail, often from people known to him or her.
Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cybersecurity company F-Secure, said ransomware attacks like WannaCry are “not going to be the norm”.
Europol estimates that the attack has hit at least 150 countries and infected 200,000 machines.
Late Friday, Representative Ted Lieu announced he is working on legislation to reform the Vulnerabilities Equities Process, which is how the government decides when to disclose vulnerabilities. This screen was photographed at Britain’s National Health Service. “At this stage, we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed”.
This certainly is a “wake up call” for governments.
Security firm BinaryEdge, which specializes in internet-wide scans, has detected more than 1 million Windows systems that have the SMB service exposed to the internet.