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    NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

    This is a discussion on NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware - BBC News NHS services across England and Scotland have been hit ...

    1. #1
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      NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware - BBC News
      NHS services across England and Scotland have been hit by a large-scale cyber-attack, which is being treated as a major incident.

      The prime minister said the incident was part of a wider attack affecting organisations around the world.

      Some hospitals and GPs cannot access patient data, after their computers were apparently locked by a program demanding a payment worth 230.

      There is no evidence patient data has been compromised, NHS Digital has said.

      The BBC understands up to 33 NHS organisations and some GP practices have been affected.

      Theresa May said that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) was "working closely" with the NHS but that there was no evidence patient data had been compromised.

      "We are aware that a number of NHS organisations have reported that they have suffered from a ransomware attack," she said.

      The PM added: "The National Cyber Security Centre is working closely with NHS digital to ensure that they support the organisations concerned and that they protect patient safety."

      Ambulances have been diverted and there has been disruption at some GP surgeries as a result of the attack.

      NHS England said patients in an emergency should go to A&E or access emergency services as they normally would.

      Dr Anne Rainsberry, NHS incident director, added: "More widely, we ask people to use the NHS wisely while we deal with this major incident, which is still ongoing."

      Patient safety

      NHS Digital said the ransomware attack was not "specifically targeted at the NHS" and was affecting other organisations.

      A massive ransomware campaign appears to have attacked a number of organisations around the world.

      Telefonica, the Spanish telecoms company which owns mobile network O2, said it had detected a "cybersecurity incident" but that clients and services had not been affected.

      Screenshots of a well known program that locks computers and demands a payment in Bitcoin have been shared online by those claiming to be affected.

      The NHS in Wales and Northern Ireland has not been affected.

      NHS Digital said the attack was believed to be carried out by the malware variant Wanna Decryptor.

      "NHS Digital is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and ensure patient safety is protected.

      "Our focus is on supporting organisations to manage the incident swiftly and decisively, but we will continue to communicate with NHS colleagues and will share more information as it becomes available."

      Among those affected are:


      • Blackpool, Lancashire - asked people not to attend A&E unless it was an emergency
      • Broomfield Hospital, Essex
      • Colchester General Hospital
      • Derbyshire - shut down all IT systems
      • Hertfordshire (East & North) - experiencing problems with computers and phone systems
      • James Paget (Great Yarmouth) - cancelled all operations and clinic appointments for the weekend
      • Lanarkshire - closed down its non-essential IT network and urged patients only to attend A&E in an emergency
      • Leicester
      • Lincoln
      • Lister, Stevenage - postponed all non-urgent activity and asking people not to come to A&E
      • Northwick Park (NW London)
      • Queens Hospital, Burton
      • Royal Berkshire - phone lines may have problems but patient care remains unaffected
      • Southport
      • St Bartholomew and Royal London
      • UHNM - Royal Stoke
      • Watford General
      'Entire patient record'

      Dr Chris Mimnagh, who works at a medical centre in Liverpool that has been affected, said the attack had made their job impossible.

      "Our entire patient record is accessed through the computer, blood results, history, medicines.

      "Most of our prescribing is done electronically - we don't use the prescriptions unless the patient particularly chooses to want a piece of green paper.

      "The rest of the time it's sent direct to the pharmacy and of course, all that is not able to be accessed when we lose the clinical system."

      Dr Emma Fardon, a GP in Dundee, said she returned from house visits to find a message on the surgery's computers asking for the money.

      "We can't access any patient records. Everything is fully computerised.

      "We have no idea what drugs people are on or the allergies they have. We can't access the appointments system."

      Dr Afzal Ashraf, an expert on cyber-security who has previously worked as an adviser to the government, told the BBC it was likely that the malware was spreading when NHS services shared documents and information.

      But he also said he thought it was unlikely the attackers had deliberately targeted the NHS.

      He added: "I think they probably attacked a small company assuming they would get a small amount of money but it's got into the NHS system and now they have the full power of the state against them - because obviously the government cannot afford for this sort of thing to happen and be successful."


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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      Lack of investment, lack of understanding and a severe lack of security. The NHS network as a whole should be on an isolated secure network!
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.
      --------------------------------------------------------

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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      I don't know how the NHS runs their IT system, but I have seen an over reliance on a single firewall setup to lock out any nasties from a given company network. Needless to say that it got hacked.

      Personally I like to use multiple tools to ensure that my devices are relatively safe. Ultimately there is one device which also needs to keep up to date: The Human Brain.

      If they ever manage to track down the source of the nasty which infected the NHS I suspect that they'll find it was spurious link on an email someone received. I wouldn't be surprised if it got forwarded to others.

      I help a number of friends out with their computers. Occasionally one of them gets caught. I've had the odd issue myself. Those nasties out there are designed to get people. Perhaps when they find out who sent this nasty into the wild they'll make an example of them.


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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      Apparently most of them are still using Windows XP as well.

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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      From the way that this malware appeared to spread so rapidly I suspect that it had been infecting computers for some time but that it had been laying dormant waiting for a trigger, probably in the form of a date/time event as an incoming network trigger should be blocked by even the simplest firewall.
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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      I had been wondering this myself.

      Years back when some of the earliest viruses were timed to go off on Friday 13th, people wised up and changed the date to Saturday 14th. The next batch of viruses timed themselves to go off on both Friday 13th & Saturday 14th. Later variants were modified to include Friday 12th.

      So yes, a dormant nasty is possible. Timed to go off when the time was right.

      The fact that it was also disabled by someone registering a domain shows that perhaps someone had the intentions of preventing it if they decided to back down at a later date.

      https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...e-cyber-attack

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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      The fact that it was also disabled by someone registering a domain shows that perhaps someone had the intentions of preventing it if they decided to back down at a later date.

      https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...e-cyber-attack
      Except that the perpetrators would identify themselves by registering the domain name.

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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      Perhaps. There may still be ways to register a domain name without giving away your identity. Payment via Bitcoin may also help.
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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      Microsoft warns ransomware cyber-attack is a wake-up call

      Microsoft warns ransomware cyber-attack is a wake-up call - BBC News
      A cyber-attack that has hit 150 countries since Friday should be treated by governments around the world as a "wake-up call", Microsoft says.

      It blamed governments for storing data on software vulnerabilities which could then be accessed by hackers.

      It says the latest virus exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows identified by, and stolen from, US intelligence.

      There are fears of more "ransomware" attacks as people begin work on Monday, although few have been reported so far.

      Many firms have had experts working over the weekend to prevent new infections. The virus took control of users' files and demanded $300 (230) payments to restore access.

      The spread of the WannaCry ransomware attack slowed over the weekend but the respite might only be brief, experts have said. More than 200,000 computers have been affected so far.
      Note: Click the above link to see a short video

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      Re: NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware

      Note: Click the above link to see a short video
      Unless you're paranoid; in which case, don't.

     

     
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