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>> A vast cyber attack infecting computers in nearly 100 countries brought businesses, telecom networks and hospitals to a standstill Friday. In the UK, British hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after their systems were hit by a ransomware demanding payments of as much as $600 to restore access.
Reuters Tech Editor Jonathan Weber says, hackers exploited a computer flaw first discovered by the NSA.>> Well, the malware that they are using appears to have been found in a dump of tools and documents that was called the Shadow Brokers. So there was a group called the Shadow Brokers that appears to have broken in to the National Security Agency, or in some way obtain hacking tools created by the US National Security Agency.
And then they kind of dumped those on to the internet. And then criminal hackers have apparently found them and started using them.>> Security software maker Avast saying it noted up to 57,000 infections Friday>> Russia's powerful interior ministry, one of the victims confirming in a statement that around 1000 computers were infected.
FedEx in the US and Telecommunication from Telefonica in Spain, were also targets. Portugal Telekom and Telefonica Argentina both said they were also hit by the malwares, although cyber attacks have become more common in recent years, Experts are particularly alarmed at the speed and scale of Friday's hacks.>> But we've rarely seen, or never really seen one that's this broad-based, that's hitting so many people at once.
Usually these things are much more limited and much more targeted. This is sort of going after the whole world at once.>> Cyber extortionist tricked victims into opening malicious spam email attachments that appeared to contain invoices, job offers, security warnings and their legitimate files. Once downloaded to a single computer, the ransomware has the ability to spread across large networks.
Microsoft on Friday said it was pushing out automatic Windows updates to defend clients. The attackers have not come forward to claim responsibility or been identified.