Global cyber-attack's success largely rests with laziness, neglect, procrastination

The tools were made public by a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers.

When you're using public WiFi networks, make sure you tell your system that you're on a public network (many will ask if it's a public or home computer.) That tells your operating system that it's functioning in a potentially threat-filled environment and it will close off some of its more vulnerable software ports to the outside. An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.

Darien Huss, a 28-year-old research engineer who helped stop the malware's spread, said he was "still anxious for what's to come in the next few days, because it really would not be so hard for the actors behind this to re-release their code without a kill switch or with a better kill switch". However, he said it's only a matter of time before a malevolent version exists. "We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself". The virus encrypts a computer's files and then demands a ransom - US$300 in Bitcoin - to recover their data, with no guarantee the computer would be released unharmed.

"In India, no reports have been formally received so far regarding this ransomware attack".

Energy giant PetroChina said payment systems at some petrol stations were hit although it had restored most of the systems.

However, while over 200,000 victims were infected by the ransomware worm, just 233 ransoms totalling $64,472 had been paid as of Tuesday morning, according to a Twitter bot monitoring the bitcoin wallets tied to WannaCry.

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Questions linger as to who is responsible for setting off this global attack on Windows computers - including those belonging to Britain's National Health Service, the Renault SA automaker and other major organizations - and there remains some uncertainty about the scope of the damage over the past few days.

Chinese media reported that the global "ransomware" virus attacked many university networks in China. The other is boring, plain vanilla - but no less important to Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. And while this attack was aimed at Microsoft software, concerns loom over whether this attack could also affect Apple computers. "It would be like leaving keys under a doormat, which good guys could certainly use, but also bad guys, too", Fung wrote Saturday. No details were disclosed. The BBC quoted one NHS staffer who said it was "absolute carnage" and that "patients will nearly certainly suffer and die because of this".

This weekend's "WannaCry" hack, which was the largest ever, has slowed down thanks to a software patch but cyber security experts say that this could have been prevented if the corporations affected installed the software when it was first introduced in March. Over the weekend, the firm chose to also release a similar patch for the XP system which the firm announced in 2014, it was no longer going to support.

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 USA giant.

As we detailed thoroughly on Monday, WannaCry is a risky trojan virus that infects Windows computers, encrypting almost all data in the process. The other is to disable a type of software that connects computers to printers and faxes, which the virus exploits, O'Leary added.

If you are thinking that Microsoft should still be required to support Windows XP, as some editorials have suggested, this is a mistake.

"It's one of those things, in a ideal world, if people were up to date on the patches, this wouldn't be a problem", O'Leary said. The patch lists can be ginormous.

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