Cyber attack’s spread slows; security stocks gain

The global WannaCry “ransomware” cyber attack spread more slowly on Monday with no major infections reported, as attention shifted to investment and government policy implications of lax cyber security.

There were 213,000 infected machines in 112 countries as of 1000 GMT on Monday, according to Czech security firm Avast, making it one of the largest coordinated attacks to hit computers across the world.

The countries most affected by WannaCry were the same as Friday: Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine and India, Avast’s data showed.

The number of infections has fallen dramatically since Friday’s peak when more than 9,000 computers were being hit per hour. By afternoon on the U.S East Coast, new infections had fallen to the low hundreds of machines and continue to decline, Avast said.

Authorities in Europe and the United States turned their attention to preventing hackers from spreading new versions of the virus.

Tom Bossert, U.S. President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser, said people “should be thinking about this as an attack that for right now we have under control, but as an attack that represents an extremely serious threat,” speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show.

Shares in firms that provide cyber security services jumped on the prospect of companies and governments spending more money on defenses, led by Israel’s Cyren Ltd (O:CYRN) and U.S. firm FireEye Inc (O:FEYE)..

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