Hunt: No second wave of cyber attacks

Ebony Scott
May 17, 2017

On Friday a number of agencies and businesses around the globe, including the U.K.'s National Health Service, were disrupted by the malware, which is estimated to have hit over 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, Rob Wainwright, executive director of Europol, the European law enforcement agency, told ITV.

"The vast majority of patients have noticed no difference".

NHS England said that, as of 3pm on Monday, two hospitals remained on divert following the attack, down from seven on Sunday.

"It's why we are putting £2 billion [$2.6 billion] into cyber-security over the coming years and, of course, created the National Cyber Security Centre".

Other government officials have come out to say that the NHS has been repeatedly warned of such an impending attack.

The NHS trust is not providing a service for non-urgent blood tests at the Lister or the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

While companies in the Americas were not yet open for business, aftershocks from the "Wannacry" virus elsewhere have so far been mild.

A Japanese non-profit says computers at 600 locations had been hit in the global "ransomware" cyberattack.

In his first public comments since the attack on Friday, Mr Hunt told Sky News: "Although we have never seen anything on this scale when it comes to ransomware attacks, they are relatively common and there are things that you can do, that everyone can do, all of us can do, to protect ourselves against them".

UKs state-run National Health Service (NHS) was limping back to normalcy today, even as experts have warned of a second wave of ransomware cyberattacks on IT systems around the world.

All hospitals in the Barts Health group are open for emergency care but some ambulances will be diverted to neighbouring hospitals.

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The cyberattacks started Friday and spread rapidly around the globe using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that is no longer given mainstream tech support by the U.S. giant.

On Friday, Russia's interior and emergencies ministries, as well as its biggest bank, Sberbank, said they were targeted.

"It is important to note that the vast majority of NHS organisations report that they are running contemporary IT systems, which are commissioned depending on local need", the NHS said in a statement.

Professor Clark said ransomware represented a growing threat to computer users but pointed out that this virus was not new and a "patch" had already been completed to protect newer operating systems but not "obsolete" ones like Windows XP.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, added: "The picture is emerging that this is affecting multiple countries and sectors and is not exclusively targeted at the NHS".

Stevenage's Lister Hospital is still experiencing "major computer problems" following Friday's cyber attack in which a virus was introduced onto IT systems at NHS trusts, businesses and other organisations across the United Kingdom and globally.

Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association's council, said: "This cyber attack on NHS information systems is extremely worrying for patients and the doctors treating them".

The smaller Liberal Democrats party highlighted the government's decision in 2015 not to extend a technical support deal with Microsoft for Windows XP systems, saying it had left Britain "defenceless".

However Ms Rudd strongly denied warnings had been ignored.

A States spokesman said that government departments have not yet been affected.

Shares in firms that provide cyber security services rose with the prospect that companies and governments would have to spend more money on defences.

Other reports by GizPress

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