HONG KONG (AP) -- Experts are trying to figure out who's behind a global "ransomware" software cyberattack that shut down hundreds of thousands of computers around the world by exploiting a software vulnerability.
Some details about the "WannaCry" attack, which emerged late Friday, and what you can do to stay safe:
HOW THE VIRUS WORKS
Cybersecurity experts say the worm affects computers using Microsoft operating systems and takes advantage of a vulnerability in the software to spread the infection. "WannaCry" is particularly malicious because it takes just one person to click on an infected link or email attachment to cause the virus to spread to other machines on the same network.
Infected computers are frozen and display a big message in red informing users, "Oops, your files have been encrypted!" and demanding about $300 in online bitcoin payment. Victims have only hours to pay the ransom, which rises to $600 before the files are destroyed.
Money has been trickling in, according to a Twitter account monitoring bitcoin wallets linked to the attacks, with victims paying nearly $39,000 by Monday afternoon in Asia.