Health Care

X-ray services at Basingstoke hospital hit in NHS cyber attack

X-ray services at Basingstoke hospital hit in NHS cyber attack

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

"Bearing in mind the impact of the global cyber attack we would urge people to be patient with staff who may still be dealing with disruption to their systems".

Security Minister Ben Wallace has said that NHS trusts have enough funds to protect against cyber-attacks, and that the "real key" was in regularly backing up data and installing security patches.

Problems with cyber security in the NHS was highlighted past year by Dame Fiona Caldicott, the national data guardian, who warned issues were given insufficient priority and that health bodies persisted in using obsolete computer systems, The Times reported. Shadow Brokers, a group that regularly posts stolen software and hacking tools developed by the US government, released the tool online last month.

The malware, known as "WannaCry", locks access to user files and in an on-screen message demands payment of $300 in the virtual currency Bitcoin in order to decrypt the files. "It would not be very hard at all to re-release this ransomware attack without a kill switch or without an approved kill switch that only they can activate".

Ms Rudd said the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) were now part of an "international manhunt" to find the perpetrators.

Since then, security experts discovered the ransomware infected more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries.

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But Opposition parties have criticised the government, saying they had cut funding to the NHS IT budget and a contract to protect computer systems was not renewed after 2015.

NHS computer systems are returning to normal after the ransomware cyber attack, health secretary Shona Robison has said.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it has not been affected by the attack but Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust communications manager Roy Probert said the trust is still remaining vigilant.

"If your business has been infected you should isolate the affected computer from your network to prevent the software spreading and use backup data to restore information".

WannaCry exploits a Windows vulnerability patched in March by Microsoft.

Other Windows systems had also been affected and just 4.7% of NHS systems were still running XP, he said.


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