NHS braced for possible repeat of cyberattack chaos on Monday

Dr Dreyfus said Windows computers that don't have the latest security patches were vulnerable to the bug, urging Australians to ensure their antivirus software was up to date.

According to the reports, in England 48 National Health Service (NHS) trusts reported problems at hospitals, GP surgeries or pharmacies, and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were also affected.

But Putin said they had anything to do with the attack, which hit hundreds of thousands of computers.

Investigators are working to track down those responsible for the ransomware used on Friday, known as Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry.

The ransomware locks users files and demands a Dollars 300 payment to allow access.

Computers around the globe were hacked beginning on Friday using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that was no longer given mainstream tech support by the U.S. giant.

"A protection system... needs to be worked out", he said.

"The difficulty is, of course, there are literally hundreds of instances of ransomware in Australia each week, so we're now seeking to confirm whether these are examples of the particular ransomware that has caused so much havoc for example in the United Kingdom", she told reporters in Cairns.

"The truth is, if you're going to cut infrastructure budgets and if you're not going to allow the NHS to invest in upgrading its IT, then you are going to leave hospitals wide open to this sort of attack".

"Affected machines have six hours to pay up and every few hours the ransom goes up", said Kurt Baumgartner, the principal security researcher at security firm Kaspersky Lab. For many, the phrase "cyber security attack" invokes an image of hackers performing a hostile takeover of a yacht's navigation system. Many of those victims will be businesses, including large corporations.

"We've never seen anything like this", the head of the European Union's policing agency told Britain's ITV television, calling its reach "unprecedented".

"Most people are not paying this, so there ain't a lot of money being made with this by criminal organisations so far", he said.

The cyber attack also affected several other countries that include Brazil and Sweden as well as several companies such as FedEx, French automaker Renault and Spain-based telecommunications firm Telefonica.

NHS Digital said that 4.7% of devices within the NHS use Windows XP, with the figure continuing to decrease.

"We never comment on the different systems, obviously for reasons of security, that our submarines use but our vanguard submarines I can absolutely assure you, are safe and operate in isolation when they are out on patrol, and I have complete confidence in our nuclear deterrent", Fallon told the BBC.

Consumers who have up-to-date software are protected from this ransomware.

The British government denied allegations that lax cybersecurity in the financially stretched, state-funded health service had helped the attack spread.

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