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ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2017


Cyber attack: NHS ordered to upgrade outdated systems as disruption continues

20 May 2017, 04:12 | Melissa Porter

Writing in blog, Brad Smith said: "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the United States military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".

Dozens of public and private sector organisations in 150 countries across the world had their computers hit last week in a "ransomware" attack.

Hackers reportedly used a tool known as Eternal Blue and a malicious software called WannaCry to lock users' computers and to demand a payment for the decryption.

'It's an worldwide attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected, ' British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

While all GP practices will have access to their clinical systems, not all computers in each practice may yet be back in full operation, however it is anticipated they will by the end of Tuesday.

Thousand more infections were reported on Monday, mostly in Asia, which had been closed for business when the malware first hit, reports the Associated Press.

Patients across Kent's hospitals were able to use services as normal over the weekend, after all of the trusts behind them avoided a ransomware attack on the NHS.


"As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems", Mr Smith said.

More than 75,000 similar attacks reportedly happened in nearly 100 countries, with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan hardest hit, according to the cybersecurity firm Avast. New versions of the worm are expected, the experts said, and the extent - and economic cost - of the damage from Friday's attack were unclear.

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.

"If you have a scheduled appointment you are advised to attend as normal unless you are told otherwise". Companies across the company are expected to be running checks and updating software today.

Europol executive director Rob Wainwright had warned on Sunday the situation could worsen when workers return to their offices on Monday after the weekend and logged on.

"It seems inconceivable that organisations such as the NHS are prepared to jeopardise highly confidential patient data or critical infrastructure through inadequate cyber security that relies heavily on out-dated anti-virus technologies, when effective alternatives like file-regeneration are available".



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