Asian governments and businesses reported some disruptions from the WannaCry ransomware worm on Monday but cybersecurity experts warned of a wider impact as more employees turned on their computers and checked e-mails.
In China, the world's second-largest economy, payment systems and government services reported some outages from the ransomware attack, but far less than feared. Disruptions were low in the rest of Asia, including Japan, India, South Korea and Australia.
The WannaCry worm, which erupted on Friday, locked up hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries, hitting factories, hospitals, shops and schools worldwide.
While the effect on Asian entities on Monday was less severe than anticipated, industry professionals flagged potential risks in the future. Companies that were hit by the worm, which is spread mostly by email, may be wary of making it public, they added.
"We're looking at (the) victims' profiles, we're still seeing a lot of victims in the Asia-Pacific region. But it is a global campaign, it's not targeted," said Tim Wellsmore, Director of Threat Intelligence, Asia Pacific at cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc.
"But I don’t think we can say it hasn’t impacted this region to the extent it has some other regions."
Michael Gazeley, managing director of Network Box, a Hong Kong-based cybersecurity firm, said there were still "many 'landmines' waiting in people's in-boxes" in the region, with most of the attacks having arrived via e-mail.
However, financial markets in Asia were unfazed by news of the cyberattack, with stocks mostly up across the region during the day.
In China, energy giant PetroChina said payment systems at some of its petrol stations were hit, although it had been able to restore most of the systems. Several Chinese government bodies, including police and traffic authorities, reported they had been impacted by the hack, according to posts on official microblogs.
Chinese tech firm Qihoo 360 said the rate of infection on Monday had slowed significantly from the past two days.
"Previous concerns of a wide-scale infection of domestic institutions did not eventuate," the firm said.
Japan's National Police Agency reported two breaches of computers in the country on Sunday - one at a hospital and the other case involving a private person - but no loss of funds.
Industrial conglomerate Hitachi Ltd. said the attack had affected its systems at some point over the weekend, leaving them unable to receive and send e-mails or open attachments in some cases. The problem is still ongoing, the company said.
In India, the government said it had only received a few reports of attacks on systems and urged those hit not to pay attackers any ransom. No major Indian corporations reported disruptions to operations.
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