French researchers claim cure for WannaCry-infected computers

WannaCry appears to target mainly enterprises rather than consumers: Once it infects one machine, it silently proliferates across internal networks which can connect hundreds or thousands of machines in large firms, unlike individual consumers at home.

In April, the Shadow Brokers leaked several cyber weapons online after reportedly hacking the NSA's Equation Group. The virus displays a message asking for $300 ransom in bitcoins to unlock the system.

Kaspersky has listed Vietnam among the top 20 countries most affected by this ransomware; the other countries and territories include Russia, Ukraine, India, Taiwan, and mainland China. It demands users pay $ 300 worth of cryptocurrency Bitcoin to retrieve their files, though it warns that the payment will be raised after a certain amount of time.

The computing giant said software vulnerabilities hoarded by governments had caused "widespread damage", the BBC reported.

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call", Smith said.

Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden echoed that criticism on Twitter.

"More action is needed, and it's needed now", he said.

Hackers lifted WannaCry from the U.S. National Security Agency, who had originally called the vulnerability "EternalBlue".

The government is not legally bound to notify at-risk companies.

Latest development on the issue The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the central agency coordinating efforts on cyber security issues, has issued a "critical alert" and has advised the installation of relevant "patches" to protect against any data breaches.

Last Friday, the company's British-based 22-year-old data breach research chief, Marcus Hutchins, created a "kill-switch", which security experts have widely hailed as the decisive step in halting the ransomware's rapid spread around the globe.

As MalwareTech noted in a blog post afterward, the ransomware was written to connect to an unregistered domain and "if the connection is not successful it ransoms the system, if it is successful the malware exits". On the other hand, Windows XP systems that haven't been infected just yet must deploy Microsoft's patch that's available even for unsupported versions of Windows. "The fact that so many computers remained vulnerable two months after the release of a patch illustrates this aspect".