Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is urging people to take precautions after a massive ransonware attack that has crippled thousands of computers at banks, hospitals and government institutions.

The WannaCry ransomware variant has infected computers in at least 74 countries.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

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The ransomware took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating system. Microsoft had issued a patch on March 14, but many computers hadn't run the update. Because many of the computers impacted run older Windows systems like XP, Microsoft issued a rare patch for XP, which it had stopped updating more than three years ago.

Carr's office provided the following information help residents lower their risk of attack: