Hi-Tech

UK Hospitals Report Tech Problems in Possible Cyberattack

UK Hospitals Report Tech Problems in Possible Cyberattack

Hospitals across the United Kingdom shut down their IT systems on Friday as they struggled to defend against a cyber attack that spread across Europe and Asia, freezing many computers and demanding ransom payments to unlock them.

Smartwatches and smart TVs could increasingly be vulnerable, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned.

"The large-scale cyber-attack on our NHS today is a huge wake-up call", said Jamie Graves, chief executive officer of cyber-security company ZoneFox. In addition, multiple National Health Service trusts in England say they've been hit with ransomware.

"We are aware that a number of NHS (National Health Service) organizations have reported they have suffered from a ransomware attack", May said, while speaking on the campaign trail in the UK.

The attack uses a ransomware like one known as WannaCryptor. These types of attacks account for 72% of all the malware incidents involving the healthcare industry in 2016, according to a Verizon.

16 organizations were affected as of 15:30, the NHS statement said.

A spokeswoman for West Suffolk Hospital said this evening: "We're now unaffected but we have shut down our incoming email".

"This cyber-attack is awful news and a real worry for patients", Labour's health spokesman Jonathan Ashworth said.




And GPs in Bury say they can not access patient information.

NHS Digital, which is leading the health services' response, said there was no evidence records had been accessed.

The National Health Service (NHS) said it was responding to the incidents.

The ransomware has also been reported to have hit universities, a major Spanish telecommunications company, FedEx, and the Russian Interior Ministry. That security update patches a server message block, or SMB, server vulnerability present in every Windows operating system from XP to Server 2008 R2, and which appears to have been used by the Equation Group to gain access to targeted networks, at which point additional attack tools could be deployed. Too high, and people give up on the computer; too low, and the attack is barely worth the perpetrators' time.

"Bart's Health, which runs several London hospitals, said it had activated its major incident plan, cancelling routine appointments and diverting ambulances to neighboring hospitals".

A large cyberattack crippled computer systems at hospitals across Britain on Friday, with appointments canceled, phone lines down and patients turned away.

In the US, the Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or CERT, says it has "received multiple reports of ransomware infections in several countries around the world", without identifying those countries.


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