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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 48 hours, you will likely be aware that a cyber attack crippled thousands of computer systems across the world from last Friday onwards.

But what exactly is the malware known as WannaCry all about?

So, WannaCry is a particularly heinous form of ransomware which encrypts files on a computer rending them inaccessible, and ultimately holds the owner to ransom by only unlocking the files after the user pays a ransom in Bitcoin.

Since last Friday, the malware hit more than 200,000 machines in 150 countries, including multiple large organisations lke the NHS in the UK, the National Petroleum Corporation in China and Renault factories in France.

While report circulated that the attack had come to an end after a 'kill switch' was triggered on Saturday, this is not the case.

While the switch did, indeed, slow the attack down, researchers confirmed that a new version of the malware had not been affected by the triggering of the switch.

"It's this constant battle," said Ryan O'Leary, vice president of WhiteHat Security's threat research centre. "The bad guys are always one step ahead."

Fortune advises the public to exercise extreme caution when opening emails, and recommends that those who use older versions of Windows should install Microsoft's new security update.



According to emerging reports, multiple smartphones have been affected by malware which was installed before the devices even made it to designated stores.

It has been established that cyber security firm, Check Point, detected a “severe infection” on 38 handsets which were being used by two of its corporate clients, a telecommunications firm and a multinational technology company.

Informing the public of developments, Check Point, explained: "According to the findings, the malware were already present on the devices even before the users received them."

"The malicious apps were not part of the official ROM supplied by the vendor, and were added somewhere along the supply chain."

Highlighting the severity of the situation, the firm's blog post continued: "Pre-installed malware compromise the security even of the most careful users."

"In addition, a user who receives a device already containing malware will not be able to notice any change in the device’s activity which often occur once a malware is installed.”

It is understood that the security breach affects leading brands including Samsung, LG and Google.

Check Point have compiled a list highlighting the devices which have been affected, but are eager to stress that not every model of the listed devices have fallen foul of the malware installation.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  • LG G4
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
  • Galaxy A5
  • ZTE x500
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
  • Oppo N3
  • Vivo X6 plus
  • Nexus 5
  • Nexus 5X
  • Asus Zenfone 2
  • Lenovo S90
  • Oppo R7 plus
  • Xiaomi Redmi
  • Lenovo A850

In an attempt to combat an attack, users can protect themselves by downloading and running a malware scanner as soon as they set up their new device.