Following the attack, Microsoft President Brad Smith said: “From a software engineering perspective, it’s probably fair to say that this is the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen.”
Many of the attacks were perpetrated by cybercriminals based in Russia and Eastern Europe, although intelligence officials suspect some degree of involvement from the Russian authorities themselves.
In a Forbes report published last year, cybersecurity expert Jody Westby claimed Russia has been carrying out such attacks against the West for at least 20 years.
She called for an international response to the clear and present danger, which has been a cause of chaos around the world.
In 2011, Ms Westby co-authored a report for the United Nations, which warned cyberattacks can strike anytime and anywhere, and “cause immense damage in the blink of an eye”.