Cyber attack hits 200000 in at least 150 countries: Europol

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Hutchins, who uses the name MalwareTech online, is now helping the National Cyber Security Centre with their investigations.

Dozens of public and private sector organisations in 150 countries across the world had their computers hit last week in a "ransomware" attack.

Hospitals are also fertile ground for identity thieves, due to their often-lax security policies.

Experts said it appeared that the ransomware had made just over $32,000, although they expected that number to pop when people went back into the office Monday.

The Daily Caller News Foundation talked to several tech experts about how to better protect people and institutions from cyber attacks and nefarious hackers.

Although Australia avoided the worst of the attacks, the malware inflicted major damage and disruption elsewhere.

Technology powerhouse Microsoft have also responded by re-releasing security updates for older versions of their Windows software in order to mitigate further outbreaks.

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake up call".

They were among many victims of an indiscriminate global attack that has struck hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide by exploiting known vulnerabilities in older Microsoft computer operating systems.

Europol Director Rob Wainwright told a British television program the attack was unique in that the ransomware was used in combination with "a worm functionality" so the infection spread automatically.

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith criticised governmental handling of data regarding computer systems.

It said universities and educational institutions were among the hardest hit, numbering 4,341, or about 15 per cent of internet protocol addresses attacked.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said the concerning incident shows measures to prevent future attacks need to be a priority.

Europol said European companies and governments had heeded warnings and as a result avoided further fallout from the ransomware.

The malware, using a technique purportedly stolen from the US National Security Agency, stopped care Friday at hospitals across the United Kingdom, affected Russia's Ministry of Interior and infected company computer systems in countries from Eastern Europe to the US and Asia.

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