In April, a group called ShadowBrokers, leaked malware used but the NSA to attack computer systems.
The WannaCry ransomware is just another reminder of the key role that cybersecurity plays in a modern business landscape. WannaCry, on the other hand, threatens to permanently lock away user files if the computer owner doesn't pay a ransom, which starts at $300 but goes up after two hours.
"We've never seen anything like this", the head of the European Union's policing agency told Britain's ITV television Sunday, calling its reach "unprecedented".
Microsoft has taken the unusual step of re-releasing security updates for some older versions of its Windows platforms to counter a massive global wave of cyber ransomware attacks.
What's worse, those responsible were able to borrow a weaponised "exploit", apparently created by the US National Security Agency, to launch the attack in the first place.
Colleges: Internet security firm Qihoo360 issued a "red alert" over the weekend, saying a large number of colleges and students in China had been hit by the ransomware attack.
"You can point a lot of fingers, but I think given that this was not a zero-day vulnerability (for which no patch is available), the people hacked are to blame", said Robert Cattanach, a partner at the global law firm Dorsey & Whitney and an expert on cybersecurity and data breaches.
Officials say they're aware of those problems.
Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the United Kingdom hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out. Cases have been reported in 150 countries, and include Chinese gas stations, Japanese broadcasters, Indonesian and British hospitals, and German railways. When Microsoft sells software it does so through a licensing agreement that states the company is not liable for any security breaches, said Michael Scott, a professor at Southwestern Law School.
A spokesman for the Russian Health Ministry, Nikita Odintsov, tweeted that the cyberattacks on his ministry were "effectively repelled".
As for anonymous bitcoin transactions, he said, it is sometimes possible to follow them until an identifiable person is found.
On reports of networks of a few banks being compromised, the minister said he had no such information. (Stuxnet, of course, was a worm targeted at industrial plants).
"Malware that penetrates the perimeter and then spreads inside the network tends to be quite successful", said Johannes Ullrich, director of the Internet Storm Center at the SANS Institute.
On Saturday, worldwide investigators chased those who were behind the extraordinary cyber-attack that influenced many systems in over ten nations, including at banks, government offices as well as hospitals while security tried to contain the aftermath.
The security holes it exploits were disclosed weeks ago by TheShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that published what it said are hacking tools used by the NSA. Microsoft issued a patch to fix this flaw back in March 2017, but organizations running older, unsupported versions of Windows (such as Windows XP) were unable to apply the update because Microsoft no longer supplies security patches for those versions of Windows.
"Like many other companies, FedEx is experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware", the spokesperson said in a statement.
National Health Service: At least sixteen NHS organizations have been hit, according to NHS Digital.