Hacking Attack Has Security Experts Scrambling to Contain Fallout

Governments, companies and security experts from China to Britain raced on Saturday to contain the fallout from an audacious global cyberattack amid fears that if they did not succeed, companies would lose their data unless they met ransom demands.

The global efforts came less than a day after malicious software, transmitted via email and stolen from the National Security Agency, targeted vulnerabilities in computer systems in almost 100 countries in one of the largest “ransomware” attacks on record.

The cyberattackers took over the computers, encrypted the information on them and then demanded payment of $300 or more from users to unlock the devices. Some of the world’s largest institutions and government agencies were affected, including the Russian Interior Ministry, FedEx in the United States and Britain’s National Health Service.

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