Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Hospital Trust 'remains vigilant' after cyber attack


Dozens of public and private sector organisations in 150 countries across the world had their computers hit last week in a "ransomware" attack. WannaCry affects systems that are behind in their Windows patching.

The exploit was among those employed by tools believed to have been used by the US National Security Agency released in a Shadow Brokers dump last month.

As yet, there have been no further reports of serious "ransomware" attacks, however fears of another attack are widespread.

Specialists are concerned that computer systems that have not had security patches applied could be infected by the ransomware called WannaCry.

This only attacks Microsoft Windows computers, but it can spread both over the internet and local networks without any user intervention. "The only thing you can do to recover from this is either pay them, figure out some way to decrypt the files, decide that you don't need the files or restore from backup".

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Other government officials have come out to say that the NHS has been repeatedly warned of such an impending attack.

Among those affected by the virus was Nissan UK, but the auto manufacturer said there had been no major impact.

Hitachi: The Japanese electronics firm said Monday that its computer systems have been experiencing problems since the weekend, including not being able to send and receive emails or open attached files.

The attack is unique, according to policing agency Europol, because it combines ransomware with a worm function, meaning once one machine is infected, the entire internal network is scanned and other vulnerable machines are infected.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has been issuing advice on WannaCry since Saturday, and yesterday said the spread had slowed "temporarily".

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Russian Railways: State media said a virus attacked the IT system of Russian Railways, but it did not affect operations due to a prompt response.

He added: "We don't know why criminals targeted the NHS in England and Scotland, railways in Germany and the phone system in the Spain".

Those health boards which have identified areas of contamination such as GP practices have immediately been disconnected and isolated from the network with measures being undertaken to cleanse, fix and protect.

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

Suffering ongoing disruption, GP appointments have been cancelled across the NHS as it recovers from the global outbreak, seeing the number of doctors diverting patients from A&E to drop dramatically.

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"At this stage we haven't seen the impact that they have seen in the United Kingdom, for example", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

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