Microsoft was hoarding patches for WannaCry exploit

The EternalBlue exploit in Windows is believed to originate from the National Security Agency, as it became available when Shadow Brokers revealed a huge set of hacking tools the NSA allegedly used to access devices.

The malware hit 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries, including banks, hospitals, factories and transport systems, freezing their computers, encrypting their files and demanding ransom through the online bitcoin payment system. In a matter of minutes, your files are our of reach. Unfortunately, the only source for identifying the attack seems to be a single source - so, in other words, beware what you hear about it.

The WannaCry ransomware is nasty and once it gets hold of your files, there's no way to decrypt them - at least not for now.

The hacked computers would mine the digital currency Monero.

The state-run People's Daily compared the cyber attack to the terrorist hacking depicted in the USA film "Die Hard 4", warning that China's role in global trade and internet connectivity opened it to increased risks from overseas. Around 200,000 victims in 150 countries have been affected, according to European Union police force Europol, many of them businesses including major corporations such as Nissan, FedEx and Hitachi.

The attackers were thought to be using a tool stolen from the National Security Agency, which then took advantage of glitches in the Microsoft Windows operating system to spread malware, affecting hundreds of thousands of computers. Though Grobman agrees with his colleague at Microsoft: These last few days, battling the WannaCry attack, have been very long.

However, Bossert warned that following the patching advice from Microsoft and the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be a top priority to stop the spread of ransomware, which has hit a number of large-profile companies, including FedEx.

"I would say the real-world impact of this attack is going to be more substantial than WannaCry", Kalember told ABC News.

Microsoft has already issued a warning to users that they need to update their software, and are also pointing to a page with instructions for how to disable Server Message Block as a temporary solution. How did it spread so fast? They were faced with the most devastating attack on IT systems that they had ever seen.

Once WannaCry has penetrated an organisation, it will hunt down vulnerable machines and infect them as well.

Who is behind the attack? .

Europol said it does not know the motive behind it.

Other experts also blamed the government. "We can surely expect more". For example, we're fighting a war and our military needs to take down a power plant, and there are only two options: "to drop a bomb on it, or to use a cyberattack to temporarily disable it". They just happen to hit the motherlode.

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