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NHS cyber attack: Hospitals no longer diverting patients

18 Mai 2017

A spokesperson for NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG and NHS Greater Preston CCG said: "We are working with our GP practices to understand the extent to which they have been affected by the cyber attack and IT engineers are supporting practices to get their systems back up and running as quickly as possible". A worrying addition is that if one pc in a network is infected, the virus spreads to all computers on that network. "You never know that they're going to do what they promise anyway", Wainwright said.

There is actually a patch for the vulnerability exploited by WannaCry (see, US-CERT article on Microsoft SMBv1 Vulnerability and the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010).

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

Cyber-attacks on the scale of WannaCry may remind organisations about the need to maintain their IT security.

"Given the potential impact to customers and their businesses, we made the decision to make the Security Update for platforms in custom support", Misner said in explaining Microsoft's motivation.

The ransomware, which has spread globally, has been infecting computers by exploiting a Windows vulnerability involving the Server Message Block protocol, a file-sharing feature.

Problems with cyber security in the NHS was highlighted previous 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. The central bank reportedly said those monitoring the cyberattacks found "no incidents compromising data resources of banking institutions".

This is already believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, disrupting services in nations as diverse as the U.S., Ukraine, Brazil, Spain and India. He said the situation was under control.

Authorities are also asking anyone affected by the virus to go to nomoreransom.org for more information about how to unlock your computer without paying the attackers.

"Over the last 18 months, we have reduced the proportion of devices in the NHS that use the most vulnerable platform - XP - from 20% to less than 5%", he said, but he admitted "lessons would be learned". The NHS has said hospitals have had to cancel some outpatient appointments because of the attack.

Rudd was speaking after chairing a meeting in Whitehall, London, of the government's main emergency committee, known as Cobra.

United States package delivery giant FedEx, European vehicle factories, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, Britain's health service and Germany's Deutsche Bahn rail network were among those hit.

NHS cyber attack: Hospitals no longer diverting patients