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NHS cyberattack: Trusts were told about security patch last month

17 Mai 2017

Jan Op Gen Oorth, spokesman for Europol, said the number of individuals who have fallen victim to the cyberextortion attack could be much higher. He said it was too early to say who was behind the onslaught and what their motivation was, aside from the obvious demand for money.

"This was general objective malware and not a targeted virus".

The virus swept across the NHS on Friday, holding computers to ransom for $300 worth of online currency Bitcoin, threatening to delete files if the payment was not made.

Health officials say seven of the 47 affected are still having IT problems and have asked for "extra support" from the National Health Service.

Chinese media reported Sunday that students at several universities were hit, blocking access to their thesis papers and dissertation presentations.

A 22-year-old IT researcher from a seaside town in England, Marcus Hutchins, has been credited with saving more than 100,000 computers from being affected by the malicious software after he registered a website domain name which inadvertently stopped its spread with a so-called "kill switch".

Mr Palmer said that Jersey would not get a "free pass" and a "rapid response" of downloading patches was needed to defend against further waves of the cyber-attack. The server operates as a "sinkhole" to collect information about malware - and in Friday's case kept the malware from escaping.

French carmaker Renault was forced to stop production at sites in France, Slovenia and Romania, while FedEx said it was "implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible".

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".

Why hadn't NHS Trusts updated their software?

In a matter of hours, the NHS was effectively placed on lockdown with computer systems being held ransom and further machines powered down to prevent the spread of malware.

Separately, invest in software that can protect you against viruses and malware such as BitDefender, Kaspersky, Norton Antivirus and ESET. Brad Smith criticized US intelligence agencies, including the CIA and National Security Agency, for "stockpiling" software code that can be used by hackers.

China remained a major source of attack from infected computers, at least during the Asian day, said Michael Gazeley, managing director of Network Box, a Hong Kong-based cybersecurity firm.

Recovering from the virus could cost businesses billions of dollars as they try to become operational once more.

Microsoft distributed a patch two months ago that protected computers such an attack, but in many organizations it was likely lost among the blizzard of updates and patches that large corporations and governments strain to manage. Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows systems.

British cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley doesn't want to blame the NSA for the attack. Whether this is as a result of a larger worldwide criminal organisation is still unknown, however, the rapidity with which the infections are spreading is very concerning. It appears to exploit a vulnerability in Windows that, according to the Toronto Star, "was supposedly identified by the U.S".

Speaking to reporters in Beijing, where he is taking part in a conference, Putin said there was no significant damage to Russian institutions, including its banking and healthcare systems, from WannaCry.

"Often the people running them aren't fully aware of the risks and don't have the tools available to mitigate them", he said.