NHS cyber attack: A&Es 'fully open' again

Ebony Scott
May 19, 2017

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed there has not been a second wave of cyber attacks on NHS trusts.

Some victims were ignoring official advice and paying the $300 ransom demanded by the cyber criminals to unlock their computers, which was due to double to $600 on Monday for computers hit by Friday's first wave.

Microsoft's chief lawyer, Brad Smith, said the attacks should act as a "wake-up" call to governments worldwide and laid part of the blame on U.S. intelligence agencies the CIA and National Security Agency for "stockpiling" software code which could be exploited by hackers.

Security firm Digital Shadows said on Sunday that transactions totalling US$32,000 had taken place through Bitcoin addresses used by the ransomware.

"We will see more victims here and that's very sad always", MacGibbon said.

Several hospitals in London and other parts of England and Scotland were affected and some reportedly halted surgeries amid fears the lives of patients were at risk.

This image provided by the Twitter page of @fendifille shows a computer at Greater Preston CCG as Britain's National Health Service is investigating "an issue with IT" Friday May 12, 2017. "They've complacently dismissed warnings which experts, we now understand, have made in recent weeks".

Britain spends about 145 billion pounds ($187 billion) a year on health, or about a fifth of its state budget.

"The truth is, if you're going to cut infrastructure budgets and if you're not going to allow the NHS to invest in upgrading its IT, then you are going to leave hospitals wide open to this sort of attack", he added.

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Further victims were expected, the Prime Minister's cybersecurity adviser Alastair MacGibbon told ABC radio last night.

They have continued to monitor updates, antivirus software, vulnerabilities on the network, and any suspicious traffic.

SHANGHAI-"Hundreds of thousands" of Chinese computers at almost 30,000 institutions including government agencies have been hit by the global ransomware attack, a leading Chinese security-software provider has said, though the Asian impact has otherwise been relatively muted.

"It was clear warnings were given to hospital trusts but this is not something that focused on attacking the NHS here on the United Kingdom".

"In particular, making sure that our data is properly backed up and making sure that we are using the software patches, the anti-virus patches, that are sent out regularly by manufacturers. It was clear (that) warnings were given to hospital trusts".

The attack struck at least 16 British National Health Service organisations, along with computer networks of companies and municipalities in dozens of other countries.

Given that the NHS is a prominent client, and a big one, Sophos had a banner on its website proclaiming that the NHS was protected by its technology.

FedEx Corp.is confirming that it is suffering a malware attack.

Other reports by GizPress

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