First Australian business infected in global cyber attack

A computer screen at Greater Preston CCG as the NHS is investigating'an issue with IT amid reports of a cyber attack on its systems

Prime Minister Theresa May said it came as part of a wider worldwide attack.

Previous year an acute-care hospital in Hollywood paid $17000 (R226526) in bitcoin to an extortionist who hijacked its computer systems and forced doctors and staff to revert to pen and paper for record-keeping. "It is so visible and so global". Telefonica confirmed that its system had come under attack from a cybersecurity incident that affected the personal computers of some of its employees on 12 May.

In China, the world's second-largest economy, energy giant PetroChina said payment systems at some of its petrol stations were hit, although it had been able to restore most of the systems.

And more local computer systems are expected to be hit.

Mr Tehan declined to provide details on the three affected companies, but said the first Australian company reported as hit was not "a government organisation or a hospital or anything like that". Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in almost 100 countries.

Experts urged organizations and companies to immediately update older Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows XP, with a patch released by Microsoft Corp.to limit vulnerability to a more powerful version of the malware - or to future versions that can't be stopped.

Images appear on victims' screens demanding payment of United States dollars 300 (275 euros) in the virtual currency Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"

"In particular, making sure that our data is properly backed up and making sure that we are using the software patches, the anti-virus patches, that are sent out regularly by manufacturers".

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The original attack lost momentum late on Friday after a security researcher took control of a server connected to the outbreak, which crippled a feature that caused the malware to rapidly spread across infected networks.

Meanwhile, at Indonesia's biggest cancer hospital, Dharmais Hospital in Jakarta, around 100-200 people packed waiting rooms after the institution was hit by cyber attacks affecting scores of computers on Sunday, Reuters reported.

"We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself", Kalember said.

The Microsoft President also added: "The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call".

The president of Microsoft laid some of the blame at the feet of the US government.

The attacks used ransomware that apparently exploited a security flaw in Microsoft operating systems, locking users' files unless they pay the attackers a designated sum in the virtual currency Bitcoin. Cybersecurity experts say the unknown hackers who launched the attacks used a vulnerability that was exposed in NSA documents leaked online.

A senior White House official told Reuters that President Donald Trump asked Tom Bossert, the administration's homeland security adviser, to hold an emergency meeting to evaluate the cyber threat.

"You are dealing with a criminal", he said.

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