BEIJING - China's National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center warned Wednesday night of the risk of a cyber attack by a virus similar to WannaCry ransomware that has affected over 150 countries since it was detected last week, causing widespread panic.
The UIWIX virus was detected by the CVERC and software company AsiaInfo, according to official agency Xinhua.
Both viruses use security holes in the Microsoft Windows operating systems to rename files and encrypt them in order to limit users from accessing the computer or files unless they pay a ransom, CVERC deputy head, Chen Jianmin, said.
The virus usually renames files with the extension ".UIWIX", and although no infections have been reported in China as yet, but the CVERC is on alert, according to Xinhua.
Meanwhile, Windows has released a security update to protect computers against the virus.
On Monday, Beijing authorities had announced the discovery of another mutation of WannaCry, the "WannaCry 2.0."
Official Chinese newspaper Global Times had said WannaCry is based on EternalBlue, an application developed by United States' National Security Agency to attack computers using the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Qin An, director of the China Institute of Cyberspace Strategy, said the attack "again reminds the world of the great harm the US' network hegemony and its network weapons can bring about."
Among the over 30,000 companies affected by the WannaCry ransomware attack in China are hospitals, train stations, universities, government offices, post offices and gas stations.
One of the worst hit by the ransomware was the powerful state-controlled oil company CNPC, the fourth largest company in the world in terms of revenue, which was forced to disconnect the servers of more than 20,000 service stations and temporarily stop accepting online payments.