It seems that earlier on today the NHS were the intended target of a cyber attack, but it now appears that this attack was only the beginning of a massive ransomware campaign which has targeted a number of organisations around the world.

The WannaCry attack, and it’s variations have been spotted in 74 countries and is still growing. Some of the organisation hit include the previously mentioned NHS, Megafon and FedEx.

There are several security researchers who have pointed out that the infections are being deployed by a computer worm. a malicious program that spreads itself between computers.

There are a number of reports which show that Russia has seen more of the infection than any other country. The Russian interior minister has said that is had “localised the virus” following an “attack on personal computers using the windows operating system”

Several experts who are monitoring the situation have linked the infections to vulnerabilities released by a hacker group known as The Shadow Brokers, who were responsible for the recent release of stolen hacking tools from the US National Security Agency

Amongst the companies hit there have been several Spanish firms hit including the telecoms giant Telefonica, with reports that staff at the infected sites were told to “turn off their computers”.

The BBC have an in-depth report on the outbreak found here.