Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Most UK patients saw no change on Monday after cyber attack -minister

Most UK patients saw no change on Monday after cyber attack -minister

The "unprecedented" ransomware cyberattack has hit as many as 200,000 victims in over 150 countries, Europe's leading security chief said on Sunday and warned of possible fresh disruption when workers switch on their computers at the start of the working week on Monday.

Wainwright described the WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack as an "escalating threat".

Wainwright said he was concerned that the numbers of those affected would continue to rise when people returned to work on Monday morning.

"In just the first day of the attack, we found WannaCry in 74 countries", said Kaspersky's Alex Perekalin. The whole containment process happened quite by accident, security experts said. The ransomware was created to repeatedly contact an unregistered domain in its code.

A 22-year-old United Kingdom -based cybersecurity researcher with a Twitter handle @MalwareTechBlog helped stem the spread of the cyber attack by buying the domain name associated with a "kill switch" that hackers built to stop the malware once the victims make ransom payments, the report added.

However, a hacker could change the code to remove the domain and try the ransomware attack again.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, at a meeting in Italy, said Saturday the attack was a reminder of the importance of cybersecurity.

"We haven't fully dodged this bullet at all until we're patched against the vulnerability itself", Kalember said.

Mr Wallace said the attack had been "very potent" and had spread very quickly, adding: "It's not about a billion pounds in this infrastructure or that infrastructure".

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Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard of the Royal College of General Practitioners said many Global Positioning System went into their practices on Sunday to reboot their computers and install updates.

In the wake of the attack, Microsoft released a patch for computers running older operating systems, including Windows IX, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organizations deemed not worth the price of upgrading or, in some cases, machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions that proved too hard to patch without possibly disrupting crucial operations, security experts said.

Professor Clark said ransomware represented a growing threat to computer users but pointed out that this virus was not new and a "patch" had already been completed to protect newer operating systems but not "obsolete" ones like Windows XP.

The NSA is widely believed to have developed the hacking tool that was leaked online in April and used as a catalyst for the ransomware attack.

"If people have hospital or GP appointments they should attend unless told otherwise".

A worldwide ransomware attack on Friday hit organizations across multiple continents, infecting FedEx and bringing down operations for at least 16 of the U.K. National Health Service's facilities.

"We're continuing to investigate a small number of potential cases but there is nothing new to report", Martin said. State media reported that digital payment systems at some gas stations were offline, forcing customers to pay cash. Portugal Telecom and Telefonica Argentina both said they were also targeted.

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