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NHS cyber -attack: Global Positioning System and hospitals hit by Ransomware

13 Mai 2017

Experts have been working round- the-clock to restore IT systems of Britain s National Health Service (NHS) after a large-scale cyber-hack by an global criminal gang wreaked havoc around the country.

"We were the target of an attack, like what is happening in all of Europe, a large scale-attack, but none of our services were affected", a Portugal Telecom spokeswoman told Reuters.

Spain's government also warned on Friday that a large number of its companies had been attacked by ransomware cyber attacks. Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven rich countries will commit on Saturday to join forces to fight the growing threat of worldwide cyber attacks, according to a draft statement of a meeting they are holding in Italy.

With almost 45 NHS organisations from London to Scotland hit in the ransomware attack on Friday, patients of the state-funded countrywide service are facing days of chaos as appointments and surgeries have been cancelled.

No NHS Trusts reported paying a ransom or informed law enforcement of the attacks; all preferred to deal with the attacks internally, said SentinelOne, which received responses from 94 of 129 NHS Trusts.

A patch for the vulnerability was released by Microsoft in March, which would have automatically protected those computers with Windows Update enabled.

Cyber-security firm Avast said it had seen 75,000 cases of the ransomware - known as WannaCry and variants of that name - around the world.

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Administrative hitches delayed his release until Monday. "So we'll look at the proposal and see if it can work". The United States has observer status at the talks. "We are aiming as a target toward [May] 19", he said.

The security holes it exploits were disclosed several weeks ago by TheShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that has published what it says are hacking tools used by the NSA. Some said the attacks highlighted the need for agencies like the NSA to disclose security flaws so they can be patched.

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. It's happened before - to hospitals in London in January, for example - and it's nearly certainly going to happen again and again.

On Wednesday, hackers disrupted the websites of several French media companies and aerospace giant Airbus.

Union members at French carmaker Renault say the global cyberattack has forced it to halt production at sites in France in an effort to stop the malware from spreading.

Britain's National Health Service does not have any evidence that patient data was breached following a ransomware attack, the agency said. On Friday, Russia's interior and emergencies ministries, as well as its biggest bank, Sberbank, said they were targeted. The interior ministry said 1,000 of its computers were hit by a virus. "Seeing a large telco like Telefonica get hit is going to get everybody anxious". The news is also likely to embolden extortionists when selecting targets, Chris Camacho, chief strategy officer with cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, said. Users are then given a time-limit in which to make payment and if they fail to do so, their files are erased.

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