White House: Cyberattack has not affected US government

Bossert said the ransomware has three variants but patching systems can help protest against all these variants.

"So this was not a tool developed by the NSA to hold ransom data".

Tom Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said three variants of the malware have been discovered and the USA government was closely monitoring the situation with officials in Britain.

"We have seen increasing attacks from allies, adversaries, primarily nation-states, but also non-nation-state actors, and sitting by and doing nothing is no longer an option". The UK National Health Care Service announced 48 of its organizations were affected, and that resulted in inaccessible computers and telephone service, but an extremely minimal effect on disruption to patient care.

The good news is the infection rates have slowed over the weekend.

"As of today, no federal systems are affected", Bossert said.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly "continues to lead operations and public/private coordination". According to Bossert, those responsible for the cyber-attack have collected less than $70,000 United States dollars, blackmailing those affected by the virus for them to pay for recovering their data. Bossert directed businesses and individuals to follow DHS, FBI, and Microsoft mitigation advice to patch systems. He added not to use unlicensed software to apply these patches. "If you do, you'll be subject to extraordinarily susceptible infection", Bossert said. He added that they hope to bring those responsible to justice, but that "attribution can be difficult" and they are still working on that.

The impact of the massive global cyber attack on the United States is not as severe as in some other countries, the White House has said, noting that less than Dollars 70,000 has been paid in ransoms as a result of this.

He said they are gaining more information and getting their handle on the parameters of the malware.

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