Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

NHS cyber attack: Hospitals no longer diverting patients

So far there are approximately 200,000 victims. Windows 7 and newer operating systems are not affected by the EsteemAudit flaw according to Microsoft. Two hospitals in Indonesia were infected, resulting in patient files being held for ransom.

"They have been working I know through the night nearly to make sure patches are in place to make sure that hopefully the NHS services can get back to normal", Wallace told BBC Radio. The organization that oversees United Kingdom hospital cybersecurity said that last month it alerted the trusts about the Windows vulnerabilities and sent a patch to fix it.

NHS Lanarkshire was among the worst affected in Scotland and was advising only the sickest patients to attend accident and emergency departments.

Following a meeting of the Government's Cobra contingencies committee, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said more than a million patients had been treated in the course of Monday.

The attack blocks computers and puts up images on victims' screens that demand payment of US$300 in the virtual currency bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!" So another massive cyberattack is most likely coming.

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However, officials and security firms said the spread was starting to slow in the country, which has the world's largest number of Internet users.

Experts are still trying to determine who launched the ransomware attack.

Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) also said it had seen no evidence of a "second spike in WannaCry ransomware attacks" by midday, but warned that another attack could still happen.

In what one of the most significant cyberattacks ever recorded, computer systems from the Russia, Brazil and the USA were hit beginning Friday by malicious software that exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system. Microsoft over the weekend also released patches targeting out-of-support versions of Windows including Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8.

"Our observation is that the attack is not focused towards any particular industry but it is widely spread across industries especially those organisations which are online and connected", Quick Heal Technologies' managing director Sanjay Katkar said. That amount is expected to increase.

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Fortunately, a 22-year-old British researcher and 20-something American security engineer discovered a "kill switch" and unregistered domain that halted the attack, reports the Associated Press.

"Once connected, an attacker can try to guess passwords for users on the system, or look for backdoors giving them access", HHS said in an emailed statement.

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call", Smith said.

"However, Friday's attack has highlighted the need for everyone to have appropriate and robust measures in place to protect against cyber-attacks which could strike any IT system at any time".

Greyfriars Practice manager Karen Young told The Standard they had still had no computers.

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