Microsoft said it had taken the "highly unusual step" of releasing a patch for computers running older operating systems including Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003. But computers and networks that haven't updated their systems are at risk.
Security wonks are calling it the biggest cyberattack ever.
Australia and New Zealand appeared to have escaped largely unscathed as they woke up for their first business day since a massive ransomware worm hit thousands of computer systems around the world, disrupting operations at hospitals, shops and schools.
The ransomware attack carried out Friday has hit some 200,000 hospitals, companies and government offices in more than 150 countries. It said less than 1 percent of computers were affected, and that the virus was now "localized" and being destroyed. People are anxious a second wave of cyberattacks could strike around the world on Monday as employees return to their desks and log onto their computers. It wasn't immediately clear to what degree nations across Asia were being affected by the attack Monday.
He said most people "are living an online life", and these agencies have a duty to protect their countries' citizens in that realm as well.
Patients receiving community nursing services and adult social care support in Northumberland are also being advised to expect some delays on Monday morning as services get back to usual following the major IT disruption.
There are several factors in play. There is actually a patch for the vulnerability exploited by WannaCry (see, US-CERT article on Microsoft SMBv1 Vulnerability and the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010).
Just one day before the attack Dr Krishna Chinthapalli, a registrar in London, warned in a British Medical Journal article that some hospitals "will nearly certainly be shut down by ransomware this year". It locks down all the files on an infected computer.
Another cybersecurity firm Avast said it had seen 75,000 cases of the ransomware around the world. However, officials said the day-to-day functioning was not hampered.
"It is also correct to reassess how decisions are made in organizations about the inclusion of defense products, and whether those products that were supported by the research companies really prevented a disaster by offering their own relevant updates in real time".
Grafi said his firm has been contacted by companies that are scrambling to avoid potential pitfalls. The IT director admitted that they were very lucky, saying, "Timing absolutely was everything for us". Businesses across Europe, including Spain's telephone system, were targeted.
However, security researchers say firms that fail to keep their software up-to-date are also responsible for the ransomware outbreak.
German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said some electronic signs at stations announcing arrivals and departures were infected, with travellers posting pictures showing some bearing a message demanding a cash payment to restore access. Hackers said they stole the tools from the NSA and dumped them on the internet.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon was forced to dismiss claims yesterday that Britain's four nuclear missile submarines were vulnerable because they used a system based on the old computer programme. Major companies that includes sixteen National Health Service organsisations in the U.K. FedEx, telecom companies Telefonica of Spain and Megafon of Russian Federation were also hit. But the NHS said Saturday it does not have any evidence that patient data was breached. "We will continue to work with affected (organizations) to confirm this", the agency said.
The UK government has called a meeting of its crisis response committee, known as Cobra, on Saturday to discuss the situation.
Jan Op Gen Oorth, spokesman for the Netherlands-based Europol, said the number of individuals who have fallen victim to the cyberextortion attack could be much higher.