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Cyber attack hits companies across Asia

China and Japan have both fallen victim to the global "ransomware" cyber attack that has created chaos in 150 countries.

Chinese state media say more than 29,000 institutions across the country have been infected, along with hundreds of thousands of devices.

Xinhua News Agency cited the Threat Intelligence Centre of Qihoo 360, a Chinese internet security services company.

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

Also affected were railway stations, mail delivery, petrol stations, hospitals, office buildings, shopping malls and government services.

The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Co-ordination Centre said 2,000 computers at 600 companies in Japan had been affected.

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Microsoft president: Cyber attack should be 'wake-up call'

The cyber attack should be a 'wake-up call' to the government's of the world, Microsoft President Brad Smith said. Credit: AP

The governments of the world should treat the cyber attack as a "wake-up call", the president of Microsoft has said.

In a blog post Brad Smith wrote that after a vulnerability was identified a security update was released for newer Windows systems, but "many remained unpatched globally".

Mr Smith continued that engineers had been "working around the clock" to try and help all Micorsoft customers affected by the attack and that "broader and important lessons" should be learnt from the "WannaCrypt" malware.

He continued that users must ensure they update their computer's security systems regularly.

Mr Smith stressed that governments must report vulnerabilities in their computer systems to the companies they have bought them from.

He finished by saying: "We should take from this recent attack a renewed determination for more urgent collective action.

"We need the tech sector, customers, and governments to work together to protect against cybersecurity attacks.

"More action is needed, and it’s needed now.

"In this sense, the WannaCrypt attack is a wake-up call for all of us."

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NHS cyber attack aftermath likely to last a number of days

NHS Digital said their engineers are working 'around the clock' to fix the problems. Credit: PA

The aftermath of the "major" cyber attack which has hit the NHS is likely to last for a number of days, experts have said.

A total of 48 NHS trusts in England and 13 NHS health boards in Scotland were crippled in the global attack on Friday when a ransomware virus infiltrated dozens of NHS organisations.

Five NHS England trusts were still not back to normal on Saturday, despite NHS Digital engineers working "around the clock" in a bid to fix the problem.

NHS Digital continued that fewer than five per cent of devices within the health service still use the old Windows XP system.

"We are aware of widespread speculation about the use of Microsoft Windows XP by NHS organisations, who commission IT systems locally depending on population need.

"While the vast majority are running contemporary systems, we can confirm that the number of devices within the NHS that reportedly use XP has fallen to 4.7%, with this figure continuing to decrease.

"This may be because some expensive hardware (such as MRI scanners) cannot be updated immediately, and in such instances organisations will take steps to mitigate any risk, such as by isolating the device from the main network."

Rudd: One in five NHS England trusts hit by cyber attack

Home Secretary Amber Rudd Credit: Pool

The Home Secretary has revealed that 48 of the 248 NHS trusts in England have been hit during a "major" cyber attack.

A further 13 NHS Health Boards in Scotland were also targeted in the attack.

Speaking after chairing an emergency Cobra meeting, Amber Rudd added that all but five NHS England trusts are now back to normal, praising the "good work" and "resilience" of NHS staff in making this happen.

Asked if Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt would be making a statement on the attack, the 53-year-old that "plenty of NHS representatives" already had done and were due to.

Amid suggestions outdated software left some health service systems vulnerable after a security package was stopped in 2015, Ms Rudd said it is important to remember that it was not just the NHS which had been affected.

"If you look at who's been impacted by this virus, it's a huge variety across different industries and across international governments.

"This is a virus that attacked Windows platforms. The fact is the NHS has fallen victim to this.

"I don't think it's to do with that preparedness. There's always more we can all do to make sure we're secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack."

Companies urged to secure networks after cyber attack

A large section of the NHS was hit by the cyber attack Credit: PA

Government bodies and other organisations could also be affected by the malware attack that brought down some NHS services, a cyber security expert has warned.

Companies operating large networks, thought to be particularly vulnerable, are being urged to make sure they are secure in the wake of the attack.

"Absolutely it's highly possible that as the days come forward unfortunately we are going to hear that more organisations and government bodies are going to have been affected," cyber security expert Paul Norris said.

"Unfortunately, it's going to be big names and it's going to be organisations that have got weakened security controls that are going to be mostly impacted by this."

Sturgeon: Public sector 'vulnerable' to cyber attacks

Nicola Sturgeon revealed the extent of the cyber attack in Scotland. Credit: Pool

A cyber attack on the NHS has exposed the "vulnerability" of the public sector and society in general to harmful malware, according to Nicola Sturgeon.

The SNP leader revealed that 13 health wards in Scotland were among the services affected by the attack on Friday, which targeted 40 NHS Trusts, Nissan's UK plant in Sunderland and a further 90 countries worldwide.

Mrs Sturgeon insisted that no patient data had been compromised by the ransomware "in any way".

"I think it is hugely concerning and I think this underlines the vulnerability of not just the public sector but society generally to cyber attacks," she said.

"It also underlines the importance of all organisations making sure that they have all appropriate measures in place to protect against those kind of attacks."

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