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British hospital workers were warned of 'ransomware' threat

13 Mai 2017

The attack has crippled the health system's ability to treat patients, according to BBC News. "Now ransomware is affecting larger companies with more sophisticated security operations", Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer with cyber security firm Veracode, said.

Staff were forced to revert to pen and paper and use their own mobiles after the attack affected key systems, including telephones.

It added, the Trust's IT specialists are working to resolve the problem.

Some Russian media also have reported cyberattacks on the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee. The committee, the nation's top investigative agency, has rejected the claim. "At this stage, we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed".

Hospitals across the country have been hit by a "ransomware" attack that froze computers, shutting wards, closing emergency rooms and bringing treatment to a halt. Conficker was a notorious Windows worm first spotted in 2008; it went on to infect over nine million computers in almost 200 countries.

Similar attacks have been taken place around the world.

Up to 74 countries have been affected by the ransomware cyberattack that has struck the NHS, according to experts.

South Tees, which runs James Cook and the Friarage Hospitals, said it is not affected, stating: "We have not been infected by the virus and we are doing everything we can to ensure our systems remain as secure as possible".

Among the other nations hit were Spain, Ukraine and India, said researchers from the Kaspersky Lab. In addition to Russian Federation, the biggest targets appeared to be Ukraine and India, nations where it is common to find older, unpatched versions of Windows in use, according to the security firm.

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Health workers reported being locked out of their systems and seeing messages demanding ransom payment to regain access.

It said the attacks had not affected the companies' services or data protection of their clients.

The size, scope, and range of companies hit in this attack is extraordinary.

The National Health Service in England and Scotland was hit by a large ransomware attack that has affected at least 16 of its organizations, NHS Digital announced this morning.

"The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor", NHS Digital, the computer arm of the English health service, said in a statement. Andy Wool, Foursys's marketing director, said it wasn't a targeted attack on the NHS, but an exploit against their system's vulnerability. Many canceled all routine procedures and asked patients not to come to the hospital unless it was an emergency.

The U.K.'s National Cyber Security Center says it is working with both the digital office of the NHS and law enforcement.

Hospitals across England have canceled appointments and turned away patients after suffering an apparent cyberattack.

Several hospital trusts are suffering significant IT systems problems.