Security experts struggle in search for WannaCry clues

In 2016, such schemes caused losses of $1.5 billion, according to market researcher Cybersecurity Ventures. The temporary halt in production was a "preventative step", Renault said.

The Financial Times claims that Microsoft withheld a free fix for older versions of its software, instead charging users $1,000 annually per device for protection against WannaCry-like threats.

But some other technology industry executives said privately that it reflected a widely held view in Silicon Valley that the US government is too willing to jeopardize internet security in order to preserve offensive cyber capabilities. "As of now, the ransom, which hackers have collected, has gone up to $50,000". Once the malware gets installed on a system, the user is locked out and the hacker (who sent the ransomware) demands money (in this case it varies between $300 and $600 in BitCoins) to unlock the system.

The report said that in China, more than 29,000 IPs were infected by the virus from Friday to Saturday, most of which were universities, hospitals, transport systems and companies.

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has come out with a list of do's and dont's and webcast on how to protect networks from the global ransomware attack.

WannaCry may have initially spread from the first infected machines via email attachments, security experts believe. "They will rebuild and recover from their backups or other sources".

Beginning late on Friday Australia time, a malware known as WannaCrypt emerged and rapidly spread across the United Kingdom and around Europe.

What versions of Windows are affected?

The "WannaCrypt" cyber-attack (from the software's name Wanna Decryptor, and also known as WannaCry) is estimated to have hit some 200,000 organisations in at least 150 countries.

In Japan, almost 600 companies, including electronics major Hitachi and automaker Nissan, were reportedly affected by the global ransomware attack, officials confirmed on Monday. A cyber coordination centre will start operating from next month to take precautions against such attacks, he said.

Developers of the WannaCry malware were able to use a tool developed by the National Security Agency called EternalBlue, which exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows XP.

"When you are talking about patching with large corporations, it's not a question of do we patch or do we not patch", said John Miller, head of Threat Intelligence at security firm FireEye. Usually, there are many different patches that need to go into the environment.

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