WannaCry Ransomware attack: SL on list of affected countries

The recent cyberattack targeted government, businesses and hospitals.

The attacks exploit vulnerabilities in old Windows operating systems.

Microsoft released a critical update in March, following revelations that a server belonging to the NSA was robbed, with hackers stealing critical exploits the agency used for its own hacking purposes. The English daily, however, indicated a possibility that Indian banks were under-reporting their susceptibility to the cyber crimes.

In August 2016, a group calling itself The Shadow Brokers began posting materials from that stolen cache of programs online.

The global ransomware cyberattack, known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt has infected over 300,000 computers. According to the company, the vulnerability used by WannaCry was stolen from the NSA.

The theft and posting of the stolen data gave criminals a huge head start.

Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the United Kingdom hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out.

"The high price highlights the quandary the world's biggest software company faces as it tries to force customers to move to newer and more secure software", it said. Among the organizations hit were FedEx in the United States, the Spanish telecom giant Telefónica, the French automaker Renault, Nissan's UK auto plant, universities in China, Germany's Deutsche Bahn federal railway system. If someone had lost a nuclear weapon, heads would have rolled.

He said the crisis could develop "at a significant scale" in coming days.

As companies and individuals take stock Monday morning, the focus is turning to protecting against further attacks.

"With the right approach, it won't be something that people will have to worry about", Microsoft's founder Bill Gates said of cyber attacks back in October on the BBC.

Brad Smith, the technology firm's president and chief legal officer, criticised U.S. intelligence agencies the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) for "stockpiling" software code which could be exploited by hackers. This is an emerging pattern in 2017.

Exploits in the hands of governments have repeatedly leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage, wrote Smith, who compared the leaks of Central Intelligence Agency and NSA vulnerabilities to the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.

Microsoft's president and top lawyer said Sunday that the ongoing cyberattacks, which experts are calling the largest in history, should be a "wake-up call" for governments - especially the U.S.

Smith is urging world leaders need to consider following the "same rules applied to weapons in the physical world" for Internet vulnerabilities.