Cyber attack: NHS Tayside returns to normal

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed there has not been a second wave of cyber attacks on NHS trusts since the attacks on Friday.

"We would like to reassure patients that all of our sites across our network are open as usual including our A&E department at our City Road campus", Ms Steele emphasised.

Computers around the globe were hacked beginning on Friday using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that was no longer given mainstream tech support by the US giant.

Such ransomware attacks are commonplace, with an estimated 600 million attacks likely recorded in 2016 alone.

The update says: "If you have a planned operation, procedure or outpatient appointment at a hospital affected by this incident, please visit the hospital website for further advice and information about routine services at this time".

In a statement, NHS Digital said that IT staff across the NHS were sent a link to the latest Windows XP patch at the end of April.

The authorities claim that the files could not open and there is a message demanding 300 dollars be put in the account within three days.

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The warning was echoed by Britain's National Cyber Security Centre: "As a new working week begins it is likely, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, that further cases of ransomware may come to light, possibly at a significant scale".

Justice secretary Michael Matheson said: "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".

It was leaked as part of a document dump, according to researchers at the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said the government used to contract for computer services across the entire NHS but that in 2007 - when the Labour Party was in power - that was stopped and left to the local trusts that run hospitals. "What we don't do in our NHS is micromanage it from the desk", he said.

Microsoft's chief lawyer, Brad Smith, said the attacks should act as a "wake-up" call to governments worldwide and laid part of the blame on USA intelligence agencies the CIA and National Security Agency for "stockpiling" software code which could be exploited by hackers.

Microsoft took the unusual step of reissuing security patches first made available in March for Windows XP and other older versions of its operating system.

A spokesperson said: "Our IT teams were in over the weekend making sure our systems were robust enough to protect against a possible infection, and our firewall was up to date to prevent such a problem".

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