Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

United Kingdom interior minister says health system has recovered from cyber attack


"Later we found out that the domain was supposed to be unregistered and the malware was counting on this, thus by registering it we inadvertently stopped any subsequent infections", @MalwareTechBlog told CNNTech. "The Home Secretary has responsibility for these issues but the Government is ensuring through our National Cyber Security Centre that we are giving this our full attention and working with all the organisations concerned to resolve it".

However, a hacker could change the code to remove the domain and try the ransomware attack again. Individuals and companies still have to decide if they want to pay the ransom or part with their data.

"We commend NHS England on reacting so quickly, and for being open about this attack", said Chris Ross, Senior Vice President, International at storage giants Barracuda.

"We are very aware that attacks on critical services such as the NHS have a massive impact on individuals and their families, and we are doing everything in our power to help them restore these vital services", he said.

It's on track to be one of the biggest recorded ransomware attacks ever, with tens of thousands of infected computers in almost 100 countries.

In many areas, with the exception of NHS Lanarkshire, the number of PCs or systems affected is said to be in single figures.

The ransomware, called "WannaCry", locks down all the files on an infected computer and demands the administrator pay to regain control of them.

The code evidently originated from NSA spy code known as "Eternal Blue" that was leaked last month by a group of hackers.

According to specialists in the field, the malware that was used in this attack exploited a vulnerability in the Windows operating system, and it then spreads across networks at an alarming rate. But computers and networks that didn't update their systems were still at risk. Fortune reported Thursday that the price of bitcoin was at an all-time high.

A message informing visitors of a cyberattack is displayed on the National Health Service website in London. The statement said antivirus systems are working to destroy it.

In China, the internet security company Qihoo360 issued a "red alert" saying that a large number of colleges and students in the country had been affected by the ransomware, which is also referred to as WannaCrypt. Doctors told him two weeks ago they needed to schedule a prostate biopsy to determine if he has cancer.

Zidane reveals only condition he can continue as Real Madrid manager
After beating arch-rivals Atletico Madrid , this will be Real Madrid's second consecutive Champions League final. At the other end of the table, Sporting Gijon will be relegated if they fail to win at Eibar.

A reporter from the Health Service Journal said the attack had affected X-ray imaging systems, pathology test results, phone systems and patient administration systems. But that's not good enough for Gowers.

At St. Bartholomew's Hospital in central London, Sean, who did not want to give his last name, said he noticed problems with the network as soon as he arrived.

Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson joined a session the United Kingdom government's Cobra emergency committee on Saturday afternoon.

The attack targeted Windows computers that had not installed patches released by Microsoft in March, or older machines running software that Microsoft no longer supports and for which patches did not exist, including the 16-year-old Windows XP system, researchers said.

Ransomware programmes, which are sent by email and spread swiftly, can be bought on the dark web with sellers negotiating a percentage of the takings.

Microsoft said it had pushed out automatic Windows updates to defend existing clients from WannaCry. Computers in 18 police units in Chittoor, Krishna, Guntur, Visakhatpatnam and Srikakulam districts were affected.

They were infiltrated by the malicious software, while many others shut down servers as a precautionary measure. "You can't just infect that many computers in a single day", Dillon said.

No one has yet identified the culprit.

"These attacks underscore the fact that vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies, but by hackers and criminals around the world", said Patrick Toomey of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Nonetheless, authorities around the world will be seeking to track down those responsible.

"Its important to understand that cyber attacks can be different from other forms of crime in that their sometimes highly technical and anonymous nature means it can take some time to understand how it worked, who was behind it and what the impact is", he told the BBC.

Like this: