Banks Reinforce Cyber Defenses After Global Attack

Dr George Farrelly, a GP in East London, said his practice did not have access to patient records and could not prescribe medicines when news of the attack broke on Friday (12 May).

John Clark, professor of computer and information security at the University of Sheffield, said the attack should act as a wake-up call for the health service and for businesses and individuals to defend themselves adequately against so-called "ransomware".

"The attack targeted machines that use older software (Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows 8) and USA companies tend to adopt modern systems on a more regular basis", said Kevin O'Brien, chief executive officer of GreatHorn, a Boston-based security company.

Governments, companies and computer experts around the world braced on Monday for a possible worsening of the global cyberattack that has hit more than 150 countries as people return for another work week, but Asia so far appears to have avoided major damage.

Earlier, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed there had not been a second wave of attacks on NHS trusts and said it was "encouraging" that the level of criminal activity was at "the lower end of the range" anticipated. This worldwide ransomware attack was perpetrated through the Windows operating system, meaning that only PCs were affected.

Hutchins, who uses the name MalwareTech online, is now helping the National Cyber Security Centre with their investigations.

"They have been working I know through the night nearly to make sure patches are in place to make sure that hopefully the NHS services can get back to normal", Wallace told BBC Radio. "What we don't do in our NHS is micromanage it from the desk", he said.

Experts say the attackers might get more than $1 billion from the scam, although as of Saturday, only $33,000 was deposited into several Bitcoin accounts associated with the ransomware.

The computers were locked down in exchange for ransom payments, said Mashable.

Organizations are scrambling to apply the latest security patch to their computers to prevent the spread of the attack.

Riverbank IT Management managing director Malcolm Newdick said: "Last week's ransomware attack was the most risky malware attack we have seen".

Because the attack occurred on Friday, right before people left their offices and went home for the weekend, many computers weren't affected because they simply weren't in use.

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