LONDON (AP)—Tom Bossert, a homeland security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, said the recent global cyberattack is something that “for right now, we’ve got under control” in the United States.
Bossert told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the malware is an “extremely serious threat” that could inspire copycat attacks. But Microsoft’s security patch released in March should protect U.S. networks for those who install it.
Micrsoft’s top lawyer criticized U.S. intelligence for “stockpiling” software code that can aid hackers. Cybersecurity experts said the unknown hackers behind the latest attacks used a vulnerability exposed in U.S. government documents leaked online.
Bossert said “criminals” were responsible, not the U.S. government. Bossert says the U.S. hasn’t ruled out involvement by a foreign government, but that the recent ransom demands suggest a criminal network.
Global cyber chaos is spreading Monday as companies boot up computers at work following the weekend’s worldwide “ransomware” cyberattack.
Europe, Asia, the U.S. all affected
Many businesses around the world are booting up their computers for the first time since the weekend’s global cyberattack. They don’t all know what they might find.
The extortion scheme has created chaos in 150 countries and could wreak even greater havoc as more malicious variations appear. The initial attack, known as “WannaCry,” paralyzed computers running Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies and government agencies around the world.
As a loose global network of cybersecurity experts fought the ransomware hackers, in China, state media said more than 29,000 institutions had been infected along with hundreds of thousands of devices.
The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center, a nonprofit providing support for computer attacks, said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were reported affected so far.
Five percent of Indian computers
Indian authorities were on high alert for news of malfunctioning computers Monday, after experts estimated 5 percent of affected computers were in the country.
The Computer Emergency Response Team of India issued a red-colored “critical alert”—it’s highest alarm level—and urged computer users to update their systems and use protective software.
But few major problems were reported. The head of the government response team told Press Trust of India news agency that “everything seems to be normal, so far. No reports have come in” detailing cyberattacks in the country.
The Kaspersky Lab, a security solutions firm, had estimated that up to 5 percent of computers affected globally could be in India. The country is considered vulnerable thanks to a large number of computers running on older Microsoft operating systems.
British hospitals back online
Britain’s health service said most hospitals hit by the global “ransomware” attack are back up and running, but seven are still experiencing IT disruption and canceling appointments.
About a fifth of NHS trusts—the regional bodies that run hospitals and clinics—were hit by the attack on Friday, leading to thousands of canceled appointments and operations.
Health officials said seven of the 47 affected are still having IT problems and have asked for “extra support” from the National Health Service.
Barts Health, which runs five London hospitals, said it is still sending some ambulances to other hospitals and has canceled some surgeries and outpatient appointments.
Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre, warned that more computers could be infected Monday as doctors’ practices re-opened after the weekend.
Renault plant still down
In France, auto manufacturer Renault said one of its plants, which employs 3,500 people in Douai, northern France, wasn’t reopening Monday as technicians continued to deal with the aftermath of the global cyberattack.
The company described the temporary halt in production as a “preventative step.” The company gave no details on the degree to which the plant was affected by the malware. Renault said all of its other plants in France were open Monday.