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The outage began in Ukraine as the country's power grid, airport, national bank and communications firms were first to report problems, before it spread rapidly throughout Europe.
Companies in the US, Germany, Norway, Russia, Denmark and France are among those to have confirmed issues so far.
Radiation checks at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site in Ukraine were being carried out manually after the wave of cyber attacks.
A spokesman said: 'Due to the temporary disconnection of Windows systems, radiation monitoring of the industrial site is being carried out manually.' Rozenko Pavlo, Ukraine's deputy Prime Minister, posted an image of his locked computer, saying 'all computers of the government' had fallen victim to the virus.
Experts fear that could mean major infrastructure such as healthcare systems and power networks using archaic technology will be the worst affected.
One security researcher going by the name Bleeping Computer told Mail Online that x-ray machines and other critical medical devices could be deactivated in hospitals, adding: 'We're going to see wide-scale damage.'He continued: 'The biggest computers that may have an issue are those running old legacy hardware or software systems such as healthcare and control systems for industrial services.
Things like that that are running on archaic operating systems simply because they don't have the ability to upgrade.'There was a power plant infected by this which is really scary because those are the most vulnerable types of systems.'Russia's Rosneft oil company and steel firm Evraz, Danish shipping giant A. Moller-Maersk, and global law firm DLA Piper confirmed issues, along with French industrial group Saint-Gobain.
In the case of the NHS attack, the ransomware used was called Wanna Decryptor or 'Wanna Cry' Virus. The Wanna Cry virus targets Microsoft's widely used Windows operating system.
The virus encrypts certain files on the computer and then blackmails the user for money in exchange for the access to the files.
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He said: 'The company that hosts the email account which the ransomware asks you to contact has closed the account.