It is an global attack. The National Cyber Security Centre said it had detected 188 "high-level" attacks in just three months.

King's Mill Hospital in Nottinghamshire has shut down all computers amid a national "ransomware" cyber attack on the NHS.

"At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed", NHS Digital, a division of NHS England, said in a statement.

The ransomware encrypted data on the computers, demanding payments of $300 to $600 to restore access.

"Our focus is on supporting organisations to manage the incident swiftly and decisively, but we will continue to communicate with NHS colleagues and will share more information as it becomes available". But Villasenor said there is "no flawless solution" to the problem.

The Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda says the attack Friday affected the Windows operating system of employees' computers in several companies.

Across the USA federal government, about 90 percent of all spending on cyber programs is dedicated to offensive efforts, including penetrating the computer systems of adversaries, listening to communications and developing the means to disable or degrade infrastructure, senior intelligence officials told Reuters in March.

Companies including U.S. delivery company FedEx and the Spanish telco Telefonica were also affected.

China's official Xinhua news agency said some secondary schools and universities had been affected, without specifying how many or identifying them. Still, the news prompted security teams at large financial services firms and businesses around the world to review their plans for defending against ransomware attacks, according to executives with private cyber security firms. She said less than 1% of its computers were affected, and that the virus is now "localized".

Security experts warn there is no guarantee that access will be granted after payment.

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Ransomware is a type of malware that attempts to extort a computer user for money. However, if a computer is already affected, the patch will not be affected.

After the attack left medical providers in the United Kingdom scrambling to deliver vital services either without using computers or with machines that limped through the day, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement saying it's working to understand the threat and protect America's medical systems.

He added, "It is a disgusting lesson about why using supported software, and keeping that software updated, is so important".

"This appears to be the first incidence of the use of an NSA exploit in a broad and far reaching cybercriminal campaign", John Bambenek of Fidelis Cybersecurity said.

In a statement, a Microsoft spokesman said on Friday its engineers had provided additional detection and protection services against the WannaCry malware and that it was working with customers to provide additional assistance.

A huge cyber attack leveraging hacking tools widely believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency brought disruption to Britain's health system on Friday and infected dozens of other countries around the world, security researchers said.

NHS Digital says the attack "was not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organizations from across a range of sectors".

It has had to cancel routine appointments and ambulances are being diverted to neighboring hospitals, Barts said.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which includes Lister Hospital, Hertford County Hospital, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and the New QEII Hospital, confirmed it was having problems with its IT systems and telephone network.

At St. Bartholomew's Hospital in central London, Sean, who did not want to give his last name, said he noticed problems with the network as soon as he arrived. Some chemotherapy patients were even sent home because their records could not be accessed. "IT companies maintaining hospital networks can also be found negligent or at least careless, as usually a properly maintained and duly updated system is immune to the vast majority of ransomware".