Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Scope of cyber attack grows clearer as spread slows

She said that 48 of 248 NHS trusts were compromised in the attack which affected over 100 countries, but now service has been restored to all hospitals except six.

"But I'm also very angry that in 2014, there was a one-year renewal of the protection system on the NHS systems which was not renewed after that and not renewed the year after that and so systems are now not upgraded and not protected".

In addition, he said, the following action could be taken immediately: remove the system from network, do not use flash/pen drive/external drives on the system to copy files to other systems, format the system completely, and contact NITDA's Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team for assistance.

"I'd like to commend the work that NHS staff have done to ensure the hospitals and patient surgeries continue to run smoothly", said Ms Rudd.

"In fact, 97% of the NHS trusts and hospitals. are working as normal".

He said the ransomware attack was exploiting vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating System especially those not now supported such as Windows XP, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003.

The extortion attack, which locked up computers and held users' files for ransom, is believed to be the biggest of its kind ever recorded, disrupting services in nations as diverse as the U.S., Russia, Ukraine, Spain and India.

A Nissan UK spokesman confirmed it was first affected by the attack on Friday night but there had been "no major impact". "We think we have the right preparedness in place and also the right plans going forward over the next few days to ensure that we limit its impact going forward".

A worker at the plant told Sky News that work ground to a halt on Friday night as the ransomware countdown clock appeared on computers on the production line. "We are continuing to monitor the situation".

It comes as doctors in affected hospitals could not access X-ray scans or patient monitoring systems operated using the computer network.

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Microsoft has has already developed a software patch, but not all users have updated their computers, leaving them vulnerable. A Nissan UK spokesman confirmed it was first affected by the attack on Friday night but there had been "no major impact".

"I am extremely concerned that extensive warning signs appear to have been ignored by yourself and your department", Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said in a public letter to Hunt.

Mr Hunt has yet to give a statement on the situation.

Experts are still working to disrupt the unprecedented worldwide cyber attack that has crippled NHS services.

She said: "Europol has said that it is unprecedented in terms of the scale of the cyberattack that has taken place".

The head of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, said the organisation is "working round the clock with United Kingdom and global partners and with private sector experts" to fix the damage.

The virus, called Wanna Decryptor, exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software first identified by American spies at the National Security Agency (NSA), experts have said.

She added: "Where the patient data has been properly backed up, which has been in most cases, work can continue as normal because the patient data can be downloaded and people can continue with their work".

Ms Rudd said: "Of the 48 that have been impacted, majority are back to normal course of business".

Microsoft released a fix, or patch, for the issue, prior to the dump.

A year ago a Sky News investigation discovered that NHS trusts were putting patients at risk, with seven trusts spending nothing on cybersecurity in 2015.

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