Europol: Ransomware attack hit over 100,000 organisations in 150 countries
Europol says ransomware attack has hit more than 100,000 organisations in 150 countries.
Since Friday's breach more than 200,000 victims - including the NHS - across 150 countries have been infected by the Wanna Decryptor ransomware, also known as WannaCry.
Speaking to ITV's Peston on Sunday, Europol director Rob Wainwright said the attack was indiscriminate across the private and public sectors.
"At the moment we are in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up, I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning.
"The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries. Many of those will be businesses including large corporations."
Organisations across the globe, including investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA), are now working non-stop to hunt down those responsible for the ransomware.
Meanwhile health authorities are racing to upgrade security software amid fears hackers could exploit the same vulnerability with a new virus.
There have been calls for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Friday's major incident, with the Government and NHS chiefs facing questions over their preparedness and the robustness of vital systems.
Mr Wainwright explained: "We have been concerned for some time. The healthcare centres in many countries are particularly vulnerable. They are processing a lot of sensitive data."
A British cyber whiz was hailed an "accidental hero" after he registered a domain name that unexpectedly stopped the spread of the virus, which exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software.
The anonymous specialist, known only as MalwareTech, prevented more than 100,000 computers across the globe from being infected.
On Sunday MalwareTech issued a warning that hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the kill switch.
"Version 1 of WannaCrypt was stoppable but version 2.0 will likely remove the flaw. You're only safe if you patch ASAP," he wrote on Twitter.
A number of hospitals in England and Scotland were forced to cancel procedures after dozens of NHS systems were brought down in Friday's attack.
Medical staff reported seeing computers go down "one by one" as the attack took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data.
Around a fifth of trusts were hit amid concerns networks were left vulnerable because they were still using outdated Windows XP software.
The apparent chink in the NHS's defences led to criticism of the Government and NHS bosses, with the Liberal Democrats demanding an inquiry takes place.
Speaking after a Cobra meeting on Saturday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted "there's always more" that can be done to protect against viruses.
She said: "If you look at who's been impacted by this virus, it's a huge variety across different industries and across international governments.
"This is a virus that attacked Windows platforms. The fact is the NHS has fallen victim to this.
"I don't think it's to do with that preparedness. There's always more we can all do to make sure we're secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack."
Labour's shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, in a letter to Mr Hunt, said concerns were repeatedly flagged about outdated computer systems.
Speaking to Robert Peston, he demanded that the Conservatives publish the Department of Health's risk register to see how seriously they were taking IT threats.
Among those affected by the virus was Nissan UK, but the car manufacturer said there had been no major impact.
It is understood its plant in Sunderland is not due to have another production shift until Sunday night.