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Cyber attack shuts down Aussie businesses

18 Mai 2017

Cyber security experts have warned that the ransomware virus, which affected one in five NHS trusts, could be reactivated by computers and devices that have not yet been switched on.

As of 9am AEST today at least a dozen Australian small businesses are believed to have been hit by WannaCry/WannaCrypt ransomware, according to the government.

Oxford-based Riverbank IT Management says it is being inundated with calls regarding the ongoing ransomware cyberattack.

"This is not game over for us", Mr MacGibbon told ABC radio.

The latest number of victims is more than 200,000.

"We have seen no impact on our critical infrastructure, we have seen no impact in the health systems which is important, we have had no reports of any government agencies, state, territories or commonwealth impacted by this", MacGibbon said.

John Clark, professor of computer and information security at the University of Sheffield, said the attack should act as a wake-up call for the health service and for businesses and individuals to defend themselves adequately against so-called "ransomware".

Microsoft's chief lawyer, Brad Smith, said the attacks should act as a "wake-up" call to governments worldwide and laid part of the blame on U.S. intelligence agencies the CIA and National Security Agency for "stockpiling" software code which could be exploited by hackers.

On March 14, the company had released a security update to patch the vulnerability.

Microsoft rolled out over the weekend a patch for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8, which are operating systems for which it no longer provides mainstream support.

Worldwide standards should compel countries not to stockpile or exploit software vulnerabilities, Smith says.

The internet connection was back up yesterday and the hospital said patients, who were still able to text or phone, weren't affected over the weekend.

The head of Britain's National Cyber Security Centre echoed the warning, raising concerns that many existing infections may yet to have been detected, and others could spread within networks.

There were no infected computers in North East GP practices and the priority through this global malware incident was to protect the NHS computer network, clinical systems and patient data - and this was done very successfully.

Cyber attack shuts down Aussie businesses