An international ransomware attack spread quickly on Friday, affecting organizations in different countries, including hospitals in Britain.
Security experts have identified the ransomware as WannaCry, which operates by leveraging a Windows vulnerability that was discovered when the most recent high-profile leak of cyberweapons belonging to the National Security Agency was made public.
As many as 16 hospitals within the UK’s National Health Service were hit by the ransomware, resulting in patients being diverted from emergency rooms and doctors being blocked from gaining access to patient files, according to the New York Times.
Spain’s computer response team, CCN-CERT, also alerted the public of the attack which impacted local telecommunications firm, Telefonica, according to CSO Online.
Companies in Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan have also reportedly been struck by the malware.