Organisations hit by global cyberattack

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"Like many organisations around the world, some Nissan entities were recently targeted by a ransomware attack".

Teams were working on the problem, and he estimated that work would resume on Monday morning.

So, far only the Renault-Nissan Alliance, among global automotive manufacturers, has reported being impacted by the hacking, though other manufacturers are reportedly taking preventative steps and monitoring operations.

Nissan's Sunderland plant, which employs around 7,000 people, became highly symbolic after the Brexit vote.

Across the Channel, the French vehicle maker Renault has also confirmed it was affected by the cyber assault that has hit tens of thousands of computers in about 99 countries.

Nissan's manufacturing plant in Sunderland, northeast England, was also affected by the cyber assault though "there has been no major impact on our business", a spokesman for the Japanese carmaker said.

"We have been affected".

Renault also announced Saturday that the cyberattack had forced it to stop production at sites in France, part of several measures being taken to stop the virus from spreading. "We are doing what is needed to counter this attack", added the spokesperson.

A spokeswoman for Renault, said to AFP Saturday: "We have been affected". It was reportedly based on cyberwarfare software developed by USA intelligence agencies that was released to the public earlier this year by an unknown hacker group.

The ransomware locks access to user files and demands money - in the form of the virtual currency Bitcoin - in order to decrypt them. Two major Indonesian hospitals, O2 owner Telefonica and postal company FedEx are among the groups, companies and individuals in 99 countries that have been infected with the malicious malware.