WannaCry ransomware attack: No "major impact" on Australia and New Zealand after being unleashed after hours

Oliver Gill
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2009 Tour Down Under - Stage One
The ransomware attack has so far largely passed by Australia (Source: Getty)

Australia and New Zealand have been largely unaffected by the global cyber attack that hit hundreds of thousands of computer systems on Friday.

Three businesses have been affected in Australia, while there were no reported cases in New Zealand.

Australian cyber security minister Dan Tehan told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio: “At this stage, it does seem like we have missed the major impact of this ransomware incident.”

The names of the Australian businesses hit have yet to be made public but are not related to critical infrastructure or government departments, Tehan said.

Read more: Businesses braced for cyber attacks to spread today

Friday’s attack, spread by email through a ransomware worm known as WannaCry, locked more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries.

But the timing of the attack meant it began after trading hours Down Under.

Concerns remained that a second wave of attacks could emerge as workers returned to the office on Monday.

However, in trading hours in Australia and New Zealand, such concerns have not come to pass.

Alistair MacGibbon, a special adviser on cyber security to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, told Reuters: “As a whole nation we can be confident, so far, that we have missed the worst of this."

We have seen no impact on our critical infrastructure, we have seen no impact in the health systems which is important, we have seen no reports of any government agencies, state, territories or commonwealth impacted by this.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand government communications security bureau said it had not received any reports of the malware infection. Nevertheless, it had upped its cyber security of critical infrastructure.

Read more: Europol boss praises banks' cyber strategy after global attack

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