The hackers then demand $300 in order to release control of the files.
While Smith said that Microsoft (and its customers) need to take more responsibility for their role, the executive laid the bulk of the responsibility for the massive cyberhack at the feet of government agencies.
The software tools to create the attack were revealed in April among a trove of NSA spy tools that were either leaked or stolen.
The identity of Shadow Brokers is unknown though many security experts believe the group that surfaced in 2016 is linked to the Russian government.
Several cyber security firms said WannaCry exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft and that Microsoft patched this in March. Many of those victims will be businesses, including large corporations.
Consumers are also at risk.
"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call", Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said. FedEx, Nissan, and the United Kingdom's National Health Service were among the victims.
LONDON - Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was warned in July previous year of the urgent need to update the NHS' cybersecurity in order to avoid the sort of crippling cyberattack seen in British hospitals last week.
The attack was disrupting computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in scores of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, India and Japan, among others.
Anyone who hasn't updated their Windows PC recently.
Despite the warnings, the unsupported Windows XP system continued to be in widespread use across the NHS.
Hitachi: The Japanese electronics firm said Monday that its computer systems have been experiencing problems since the weekend, including not being able to send and receive emails or open attached files. Install all Windows updates. 5.
Officials at the Ministry of Defence played down fears that its four Trident-missile carrying submarines, which use the same software which left the NHS exposed, were vulnerable to attack. None of the firms targeted indicated whether they had paid or would pay the hackers ransom.
The government has listed only three Australians companies among the victims of the "WannaCry" attack, but says the number is likely to rise as companies return to work today.
That may be because schools tend to have old computers and be slow about updates of operating systems and security, said Fang Xingdong, founder of ChinaLabs, an internet strategy think tank.
The country's cyber security agency has alerted Internet users against damaging activities of a strong and globally active ransomware virus- "Wannacry"- that critically infects work stations and locks them remotely.
"The very nature of this particular malware, this sort of ransomware attack, is very potent because unlike more routine ones this one has used a sort of worm to exploit the operating system and bolted on a ransomware so that it spread incredibly quickly in hours not weeks or days", Wallace said.
The political fallout from the attack escalated over the weekend as both Labour and the Lib Dems blamed the crisis in the health service on the government's failure to upgrade hospital computers.
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