June 28, 2017

Ransomware cyber-attack threat escalating

22 May 2017, 04:15 | Kristin Schwartz

Worldwide cyberattack sparks fewer aftershocks than feared

There were an astonishing 8,995 data breaches in the 17 largest Whitehall departments in 2015 – a staggering 24 a day according to the report. Some 98 per cent were at HM Revenue and Customs

Barts Health, which runs the hospital, was among a fifth of the country's NHS trusts to have its computers infected by ransomware.

Lesley Watts, chief executive of Chelsea and Westminster trust, said: "People causing disruption to NHS IT systems should look in the mirror and feel shame".

At Broomfield Hospital, part of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (Midlands & East), t rauma patients are being diverted to Southend University Hospital.

Insurers remain on alert as security experts warn of a second wave of cyber-attacks following the ransomware assault that hit tens of thousands of computers worldwide over the weekend.

Large swathes of the NHS have been paralysed by the cyber attack, which hit 200,000 victims in 150 countries around the world.

"I expect our services to be operating as normal from Monday (15 May 2017) including our community clinics".

"We have stopped this one, but there will be another one coming and it will not be stoppable by us", the 22-year-old said.

Updates will be posted to Provide's Facebook page and website.

"Our immediate priority as a government is to disrupt the attack, restore affected services as soon as possible, and establish who was behind it".

The government has listed only three Australians companies among the victims of the "WannaCry" attack, but says the number is likely to rise as companies return to work today.

Amid fears of more "ransomware" attacks, an global operation is under way to find the perpetrators of the attack that infected 200,000 machines with a virus that exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows.

Bossert said "criminals" are responsible, not the USA government.

Companies located in Europe and Asia are thought to be particularly vulnerable to the ransomware as they do not have the same safeguards in place as U.S. businesses and many of which are running older versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Opinion polls show the NHS is the issue voters care most about, ahead even of Britain's exit from the European Union and the economy, before the June 8 national election.

It is not clear why it took so long for NHS Digital to send it, or why so many trusts failed to update their systems once notified.

The UK government called a meeting of its crisis response committee, known as Cobra, to discuss how to handle the situation.

The spokesman played down suggestions the NHS was placed at additional risk because of its use of Windows XP.

"We put aside £50 million specifically for cyber security and for the NHS".

Bossert tells ABC's "Good Morning America" that the malware is an "extremely serious threat" that could inspire copycat attacks.

"The public can help us at this busy time by choosing alternatives to A&E, such as pharmacy services and NHS 111, if they have non-life threatening conditions".

While some practices were not directly attacked by the cyber-attack, some network connections to data servers and the Internet were affected.

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