NHS cyberattack: Ransomware assault paralyses United Kingdom hospitals putting thousands at risk

Jeannette Daniel
May 13, 2017

And a spokesperson for the Patients Association said: "We should be clear that the responsibility for today's apparently extensive attack on NHS IT systems, and for any harm that occurs to patients as a result, lies with the criminals who have perpetrated it".

Ransomware is malicious software that infects machines, locks them by encrypting data and then extorts money to let users back in.

A number of hospitals and healthcare services across England were hit by an apparent cyberattack Friday, health care authorities said.

But those attacks - blamed on Russian Federation, which has repeatedly denied them - followed an entirely different modus operandi involving penetrating the accounts of individuals and political organizations and then releasing hacked material online. "The only people suffering are people that need emergency care", NHS staff wrote in a tweet.

The NHS has been hit by a major ransomware attack, shutting down multiple hospital IT systems - as well as companies and universities elsewhere.

It is being reported that the N.H.S. was not actually the target of the attack.

"Of course it is important that we have set up the National Cyber Security Centre and they are able to work with the NHS organisations concerned and to ensure that they are supported and patient safety is protected". Still, the news prompted security teams at large financial services firms and businesses around the world to review their plans for defending against ransomware attacks, according to executives with private cyber security firms.

The attack is causing canceled procedures and appointments at hospitals across England.

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Wana Decryptor exploits a Windows flaw that was patched in Microsoft's Security Bulletin MS17-010 in March.

Others have shared images of the screenshot that shows the ransom demand.

Essentially, the only way to prevent a computer on a compromised network being hit by the ransomware is to turn it off or shut down the network.

A National Health Service (NHS) sign is seen in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London June 7, 2011.

Spain's National Center for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure said it was communicating with more than 100 providers of energy, transportation, telecommunications and financial services about the attack even if basic services had not suffered any disruption.

At Lister Hospital in Stevenage, the telephone and computer system has been fully disabled in an attempt to fend off the attack.

Reuters is reporting that Britain's National Crime Agency said it was aware of the reports, "but made no further comment". Attacks occur regularly against Telefonica and today's wasn't major, the official said.

A spokeswoman at PAH said: "I can confirm we have not been affected by the cyber attack".

Other reports by My Hot News

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