A manhunt for those behind the attack is now underway and security experts everywhere are encouraging WIndows users to update their software.
Windows 10, launched in 2015, was not vulnerable to the ransomware and is widely viewed as a big step forward in safety - but it will be many years before all the older software is retired.
"Technology companies owe their customers a reliable process for patching security vulnerabilities", he said.
The China Daily added that the link that clearly exists between some USA computer programs and the latest global cyber attacks is adding urgency to China's effort to replace foreign computer software with its own. WannaCry needs only one computer on a given local area network to be infected, following which it automatically spreads the Trojan to all linked computers. The cybercriminal will later demand a ransom for releasing the encrypted files. "This was a tool developed by culpable parties, potentially criminals or foreign nation-states, that have put it together in such a way so that they deliver it with phishing emails, put it into embedded documents, and cause infection, encryption, and locking".
Jonathan Zittrain, a professor specializing in internet law at Harvard Law School, said courts have frequently dismissed lawsuits against the agency on the grounds they might result in the disclosure of top secret information. With this attack, Abrams recommends trying to recover the "shadow volume" copies some versions of Windows have.
The latest ransomware was successful because of a confluence of factors. The illegal software can not be easily updated. "So even when one gets addressed and patched, there's always another one".
"It's worth remembering Windows XP not only came out six years before first iPhone".
Smith said the fact that so many computers were hit with the attacks two months after the release of a security patch shows that increasing cyber security is the responsibility of both tech companies and customers.
If you run a business, there is detailed guidance on the National Cyber Security Centre website you can follow to make sure your company is protected. Good antivirus programs are also updated frequently, so even if the initial wave of attacks slip through, later attempts should be detected and halted.
Basic protocol such as stressing that workers shouldn't click on questionable links or open suspicious attachments can save headaches. Ensure that security solutions are switched on all nodes of the network.
How much worse can all this hacking get?
Some organizations disconnect computers as a precautionary measure. "The cyberattack can in many cases limit the amount of loss of life".
The ransomware takes over users' files, demanding $300 (£230) to restore them. "At the same time, there needs to be a level of discourse that says, 'You need to pay real attention to this, and there is a role for you as an average citizen for you to play in securing the systems, '" Burley said.
"The bottom line is that all you can really do is keep your software, including your virus checker, up to date".
He said that amid the current U.S. allegations that North Korea could have been behind these cyberattacks, Washington might be tempted to launch a missile attack against Pyongyang.
Patching! That's it. Instead of hitting "ignore, ignore" when a pop-up on your screen asks, "Do you want to install a critical update and reboot?"
Win7 is still on "extended support", till 2020. "Microsoft has a very strong position that is an absolute, whereas my position is a little bit more balanced", he says.
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