Plans to have Windows operating system touch smartphones, tablets, and mixed-reality gear took center-stage at the Microsoft Build developers conference in Seattle, Washington on May 11, 2017. / AFP / Glenn CHAPMAN
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Governments and computer experts girded Monday for a possible worsening of the global cyberattack that has hit more than 150 countries, as Microsoft warned against stockpiling vulnerabilities like the one at the heart of the crisis.European policing and security agencies said the fallout from a ransomware attack that has already crippled more than 200,000 computers around the world could deepen as people return for another work week. The indiscriminate attack began Friday and struck banks, hospitals and government agencies, exploiting known vulnerabilities in older Microsoft computer operating systems.Wainwright described the cyberattack as an "escalating threat".The attack is unique, according to Europol, because it combines ransomware with a worm function, meaning once one machine is infected, the entire internal network is scanned and other vulnerable machines are infected.The attack therefore spread faster than previous, smaller-scale ransomware attacks.
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