Global cyber attack: Germany says software firms need help

A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, May 15, 2017. Shares were higher in early trading Monday in Asia, despite worries of disruptions from the “WannaCry” ransomware cyberattack over the weekend. Yet another missile launch by North Korea also appeared to have little impact, while upbeat talk on trade and infrastructure investment at a top-level conference in China brightened sentiment. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

LONDON (AP) – The latest on the global extortion cyber attack that hit dozens of countries (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Germany’s interior ministry says software companies need to do their own homework, rather than blame governments for security breaches.

Microsoft’s top lawyer, Brad Smith, had criticized governments Sunday for “hoarding” vulnerabilities and urged authorities to report security problems to IT firms “rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them.”

Interior ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said “someone who doesn’t do their homework trying to make others responsible for not pointing out this homework needs to be done seems to me to mix up cause and effect.”

Plate told reporters in Berlin on Monday that the German government had published a new cyber security strategy last year that includes a proposal to hold IT companies liable for security flaws.

German rail company Deutsche Bahn’s platform displays were hit by the global “ransomware” cyberattack.


12:40 p.m.

Tom Bossert, a homeland security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, says the recent global cyber attack is something that “for right now, we’ve got under control” in the United States.

Bossert tells 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 has criticized U.S. intelligence for “stockpiling” software code that can aid hackers. Cyber security experts say the unknown hackers behind the latest attacks used a vulnerability exposed in U.S. government documents leaked online.

Bossert said “criminals” are 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.


10:55 a.m.

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 cyber attacks 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.


10:20 a.m.

Britain’s health service says 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 say 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, says 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, has warned that more computers could be infected Monday as doctors’ practices re-opened after the weekend.


9:50 a.m.

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 cyber attack.

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.


8:45 a.m.

The problem with its home page wasn’t ransomware, after all, Osaka city hall said. The site is now back up but the real cause of the problem is not yet clear, said spokesman Hajime Nishikawa.

Kyodo News said one personal computer was affected at one office at East Japan Railway Co., but train services were not affected.


6:15 a.m.

A Japanese nonprofit says computers at 600 locations had been hit in the global “ransomware” cyberattack.

Nissan Motor Co. confirmed Monday some units had been targeted, but there was no major impact on its business.

Hitachi spokeswoman Yuko Tainiuchi said emails were slow or not getting delivered, and files could not be opened. The company believes the problems are related to the ransomware attack, although no ransom is being demanded. They were installing software to fix the problems.

The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center said 2,000 computers in Japan were reported affected so far, citing an affiliate foreign security organization that it cannot identify.

At least one hospital was affected, according to police. The city of Osaka said its home page went blank, although problems had not been detected otherwise.


6:10 a.m.

South Korea has been mostly spared from the global cyber chaos that crippled scores of governments and companies in 150 countries.

Director Shin Dae Kyu at the state-run Korea Internet & Security Agency who monitors the private sector said Monday that five companies have reported they were targeted by a global “ransomware” cyberattack. While some companies did not report damages to the government, South Korea was yet to see crippling damages, he said.

The most public damage was on the country’s largest movie chain. CJ CGV Co. was restoring its advertising servers at dozens of its movie theaters after the attack left the company unable to display trailers of upcoming movies. Its movie ticket systems were unaffected.

Another government security official said no government systems were affected.


6 a.m.

Global cyber chaos is spreading Monday as companies boot up computers at work following the weekend’s worldwide “ransomware” cyberattack.

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.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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