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The attack was eventually disarmed; however, experts warn that attackers could slightly modify the ransomware and launch another attack at any time. In India, a section of computers at Andhra Pradesh's police departments were hacked.

These attacks can hurt not just your wallet: They can also cause unnecessary stress and affect productivity.

What versions of Windows are affected?

In the United Kingdom, where the initial attack threw parts of the health care system into chaos Friday, the government scheduled an emergency meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the attack. The ministry said the technicians had contained the attack. "All calls on this number will be handled by malware specialists, who will guide people on prevention and remediation". FireEye said it was aware customers had used its reports to successfully identify some associated with the attack. The malware encrypts the files.

The WannaCry infection stood out from earlier attacks for the speed with which it spread, and the way that the code was used to lock down infected computers until their users paid a ransom.

"This is big and set to get bigger".

The attack, which has been largely focused in Asia, has locked computers in hospitals, factories, government agencies, banks and other businesses.

China is preparing to enforce a wide-reaching cyber security law that USA business groups say will threaten the operations of foreign firms in the country with strict local data storage laws and stringent surveillance requirements. Rail passengers in Germany were confronted with the ransom message when looking up train information at stations after Berlin-based railway company Deutsche Bahn was targeted.

French automaker Renault and its partner, Nissan, say their plants were hit by the attack, NBC reports.

The computer can be infected by taking advantage of a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) released a security patch for in March and computers that hadn't updated were still at risk.

After the recent leaks of hacking tools from the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency, cyber-espionage critics, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, have criticised the agencies for hoarding vulnerabilities for their own use instead of flagging them to companies like Microsoft in the interest of public safety. It is not known who is behind the Shadow Brokers. "The global reach is unprecedented", BBC quoted Wainwright as saying in an interview with Britain's ITV.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS providers, said: "It's worth pointing out that 80 per cent of NHS trusts were not affected". Hacking group or groups were yet to claim responsibility for the attack.

Officials from West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) confirmed the development and said it has been detected at four offices in West Midnapore district affecting PCs in four blocks of Belda, Datan, Narayngarh and Keshiyari.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said: "There's been much focus on the idea that NHS systems were running this XP Windows system".

Optics had received no external government funding for IT connectivity or infrastructure, but was expected to adhere to the same information governance standards as the rest of the NHS, Dr Hampson added.